Without Wall Street Cash would “Tom” (survive) Exist?

Where does the cash come from to pay for “Tom”? Well, we know that most contracts generated by dealers, such as VMS Alarms and Maximum Security Alarm, are purchased by a monitoring company. These two dealers sell their contracts to Monitronics, which is wholly owned by Ascent Capital Group (ASCMA). Ascent acquired Monitronics in December 2010, spinning off their other media related businesses to focus on the (recently) cash flow negative Monitronics. Read more of this post

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Lawsuit may reveal “Tom” technology

Discovered through a tip from a reader, a patent lawsuit (Noguar et al v. 1TO1 Sales Group et al) reveals quite a bit about the technology that may be behind the “Tom” calls. This patent document describes the use of prerecorded audio clips that an agent can deploy to respond to a prospective customer. The scariest part to me is the tactic of collecting information from the call and linking it to the identity or profile of the person called. Simple things like gender and interests can be easily retained and used in future attempts (or of course sold to others).

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Update: VMS Alarms records BBB call without permission

The Better Business Bureau is apparently having some issues with VMS Alarms. It seems that VMS recorded a phone conversation between the two regarding complaints about VMS. It’s unclear how VMS is using the recording, but the BBB is not happy about it. From the BBB Alert on VMS Alarms:

“It was reported to BBB on 2/28/2012 that the business is using a recording of a conversation between VMS Alarms and BBB in regards to the business’s complaints. BBB did not provide permission to VMS Alarms to record the call and/or use it for their purposes.”

Click on the Alert link, review second paragraph, text about the recording.

Update: Stop Tom has been busy!

Like most readers, I have primary responsibilities which include running a business and raising a family that are way more important than investigating the home security alarm industry. But I have put hundreds and hundreds of hours of work into exposing these folks for the shameless bad actors I believe them to be and it was time for someone to take a stand. I felt all along that sooner or later, those who were wronged by the owners and executives of these alarm dealers and affiliates, would provide a tip or lead that would be gold. They have in spades. Read more of this post

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