Action Line: Local alarm company shuts down without warning customers

Alarm Company

A Hawaii Kai alarm company has abruptly shut down, leaving customers wondering what to do with the alarm system installed in their home and their monthly payments.

Hi Alarm enlisted comedian Augie Tulba as the spokesman for the company. He’s as surprised as the customers that the business has shut down.

The office at Koko Marina Shopping Center is locked with the windows shuttered. Customer Tanya Makinney had been trying to get a hold of Hi Alarm for the past two months to get her security camera fixed and had no luck. Now she knows why.

“Some kind of communication, some kind of indication that they’re going out of business would have been nice. These are the numbers to contact should you have any questions,” Makinney said.

Makinney paid more than $600 for a security system nearly a year ago and has also been paying a monthly service fee of $64.99 that includes free repairs.

She recently got a letter from a Texas company called Monitronics, which was subcontracted to monitor her alarm system, telling her that Hi Alarm is out of business.

“Through this whole period up until last week Thursday they have been taking out a monthly fee of 64.99 yet they haven’t paid Monitronics supposedly according to Monitronics since February,” Makinney said.

The company started doing business in Hawaii just over two years ago. Last year, they hired Augie T. as a spokesman. He says he and the rest of the workers were let go in February.

“I was an employee like a lot of the people that worked there and was released the first week of February, was told to turn in my stuff, my laptop, phone, and I did so and of course worried like everybody else,” Tulba said.

Tulba says he had no idea that the company would just shut down without notifying customers.

As for Makinney, she says the Texas company Monitronics has offered to take over some of the services that were offered by Hi Alarm.

“Things could have been handled in a lot better way. I think it’s just poor customer service all around by Hi Alarm,” Makinney said.

The Hawaii Better Business Bureau recommends customers to contact Monitronics by calling (800) 447-9239 or visiting www.Monitronics.com.

The website for Hi Alarm is still up and lists the name of its owner. KHON2 is still trying to reach him for comment.

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