COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A group of Smyrna neighbors say they've been unable to reach a security system vendor to cancel services or obtain refunds amid complaints over paid services.
While the state found no record of the company doing business in Georgia, Channel 2 has learned its business registration is under a slightly different name, making it difficult for one homeowner to file a valid consumer protection complaint.
The neighbors live in the Village at Belmont, a fairly new community built by David Weekley Homes. E-Ready Systems, a Kennesaw-based contractor, was the preferred vendor for home wiring and security system services when the homes were built several years ago.
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Meanwhile, a man who says he owns the company tells Channel 2 he wants to work with the neighbors to resolve the issues, but had not been aware of the complaints until Channel 2 reached out this week.
One homeowner told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that his 2016 build had defective wiring installed by E-Ready Systems, so they simply went wireless.
"Basically, all of the wiring that's been done in the house we can't actually use the network jacks because they don't work," said Bruce Gilbert Perez. "I don't know what kind of job they did, but none of our internet jacks work in the house."
Mark Glaze, another homeowner, said he recently switched security system providers. He tried contacting E-Ready Systems to cancel services over the summer, when he couldn't stop sensors from going off.
"It's been about 45 days," Glaze said. "They won't take our phone calls . The phone calls don't go really through, and they won't return any emails."
Glaze had his bank put a stop payment on the billing for the service.
Lori Alsterberg says she doesn't believe her home was ever monitored for services for which she'd paid to E-Ready Systems quarterly over a three-year period.
Her alarms had gone off in the past, and no police or fire units were ever dispatched. She figured it was because her family turned off the system in time to prevent some sort of alert.
But in July, she switched security providers. When her system was removed, the alarms didn't elicit emergency response and the new provider told her the system had never been set up for monitoring.
She says she's been trying to contact E-Ready Systems since August.
"You can't talk to anybody because if you call and try to talk to anybody, you get everybody's voicemail message," said Alsterberg. "You send an email and it bounces back, saying 'We don't accept emails from outside our own server.'"
Alsterberg filed a consumer protection complaint with the state attorney general's office last month. An Aug. 26th response indicated there was no connection between E-Ready Systems and the state of Georgia, nor was there a physical address for the office to further its investigation. There was only a post office box mailing address.
Records with the Secretary of State's office show the business as having been abandoned and dissolved in 2015 under a Kennesaw man named Kenneth McLinkskey.
Messages for McLinkskey were not returned on Thursday, but Carr heard back from another man who identified himself as the current owner.
A new business and promises to address concerns
Shane Medford identifies himself as the current owner of E-Ready Systems and reached out to Channel 2 Thursday after hearing from the homebuilder's corporate office in Texas, where Channel 2 sent an inquiry in addition to leaving a message with the security company.
He says he bought the company from McLinkskey in 2009 and had it registered with the state under his wife's name. In answering a question about the six-year overlap of ownership in state records, Medford said there had been some paperwork challenges in the transfer of ownership.
E-Ready LLC, rather than the advertised E-Ready Systems Inc. is registered under Julia Botsko. The company still carries the same Kennesaw UPS box address. The slightly different names explain why the consumer protection unit could not find current information on the business when it received a formal complaint.
Medford sent his licensure credentials and said he had not heard from the neighbors, but has been permitted and contracted for wiring services of all the Weekley communities in Metro Atlanta.
He explained how neighbors would know whether they were connected to services.
"The homeowners, it's their choice. They can either get text messages or emails when any signal is sent to our monitoring station," Moreland said.
Medford provided a business email address to pass along to neighbors in order to contact him with any suspected issues.
He said disconnects can occur for nonpayment, but said the company would investigate the complaints. If they find they were in error, they'd arrange for refunds within five days.
In a statement from David Weekley Homes, the homebuilder said it was also unaware of the complaints. They reiterated homeowners' choice to pick service providers, and assured them E-Ready Systems is in business.
"We will do our best to assist any customers who contact us seeking assistance," the statement read.
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