CPI Security Systems, SDM’s 2019 Dealer of the Year, filed a lawsuit on Sept. 11 against Vivint Smart Home, accusing the company of tricking customers into signing up for Vivint’s services by posing as CPI employees or representatives.
According to the complaint, Vivint tricks CPI customers into believing that Vivint has purchased or is purchasing CPI; Vivint is taking over CPI accounts; Vivint manufactures CPI’s equipment and is present at customers’ homes to upgrade CPI systems; and Vivint was sent or acts on behalf of CPI.
“These and other routinely made, false and misleading statements about Vivint’s affiliation with CPI permit Vivint to take advantage of CPI’s goodwill, damage CPI’s name and lead CPI’s customers to do business with Vivint under false pretenses,” the complaint said.
CPI alleges that Vivint’s sales representatives bind CPI customers to high-priced, multi-year finance and monitoring contacts with Vivint and make it impossible for customers to cancel these contracts.
According to the complaint, Vivint’s practices violate Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 et seq., and related common law of unfair competition.
This is not the first time Vivint has had a lawsuit filed against them for solicitation and impersonation. Last year, the company had its solicitation permit revoked by police in Huntersville, S.C., for breaking door knocking rules and being overly aggressive just two weeks after being granted a solicitation permit.
ADT filed an unfair competition suit in Florida against Vivint last month, alleging Vivint salespeople go into ADT customers’ homes, get them to sign Vivint contracts and install Vivint alarm systems in their homes under false pretenses.
ADT also filed a lawsuit against Vivint in Florida in 2017 for deceiving customers using the same tactics. The case was settled with Vivint paying ADT $10 million. Vivint settled with three other states — Texas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — for similar complaints that same year. Actions have also been brought against Vivint in Oregon, Wisconsin, Arkansas, California, Ohio, Nebraska and Kansas.
Representatives for Vivint and CPI could not be reached for comment.