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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Owners of a Knoxville-based security company that recently went out of business claim the business is being reorganized, but customers are left wondering if their security systems are being monitored.
The customers are also concerned about repairs to equipment when it fails.
Customers and employees called 6 On Your Side with questions about Secure Watch.
The company had been the second largest ADT dealer in the country until the end of August. That's when ADT dropped its association with Secure Watch.
The Secure Watch security network was vast. At one time, Secure Watch had more than 50 branch offices throughout the Southeast and parts of the Midwest.
Secure Watch pulled out of rented office space in Knoxville a week ago in the middle of the night.
Judging from the mess left in the supply room, the exit was hasty.
At one time, about 100 employees occupied three floors of the Conley Building on Gay Street.
The move from headquarters was so fast and without notice a building manager told 6 On Your Side the unpaid rent bill exceeds $30,000.
When we told Secure Watch custom Mike Myers the company was out of business he said that explained why his requests to fix his system were being ignored.
"This is a welcome package to the Secure Watch family," Myers said as he showed the documents he received when he joined in July.
A door-to-door salesman had sold him a security package for $99.
"They set up the keypad and programmed it to where it's supposed to work," Myers said.
A few days after the system was put in, however, a glitch occurred with one of the door motion detectors and with the keypad installed by Secure Watch.
"Actually, the chime never really worked," Myers said. "So if you push and hold this chime button, it's supposed to have the door chime on, so if you open the door it chimes. It never worked. So this door contact right here has never worked. When I called them they said they weren't going to fix it."
Myers isn't the only Secure Watch customer with problems. 6 On Your Side has obtained a list of dozens of other customers from Florida to Indiana who have waited on equipment never delivered, on service calls never made, or they were just ignored.
Several disappointed employees who once worked for Secure Watch called 6 On Your Side saying they haven't received paychecks they have earned.
"I was told I was not going to get paid my vacation check," said Karen Cox. "When I was laid off I was supposed to have gotten it with my last check, but I did not."
Laid off company workers reported to a building in North Knoxville last Friday to pick up their pay checks for unpaid vacation and unpaid hours they had earned. The company came through, at least for the ones who showed up last Friday.
"I had to fight to get this check," Cox said. "I do have it today."
"They didn't pay my vacation until today," said Christy Tallent, another Secure Watch employee.
"We've gone though a transitory period," said Secure Watch spokesperson Paul Victor. "For a while we had not stopped being affiliated with ADT."
Victor says Saber Alarm, a sister company of Secure Watch, has an office in Norwood. The equipment Saber sells comes from G.E., a competitor of ADT.
At the abandoned Secure Watch headquarters, 6 On Your Side found evidence of Saber-related material. Apparently ADT didn't like that Secure Watch was associated with a competitor and cut off relations.
"We had created a separate brand called Saber Alarm that was not in the ADT family," Victor explained. "We're now in the process of rejoining the ADT family as a dealer of theirs."
ADT confirmed to 6 On Your Side it is in negotiations to resume relations with Secure Watch. As for customers like Mike Myers, Victor says Secure Watch will make sure the equipment he paid for is fixed and no one has to worry about the loss of service.
"The monitoring throughout all of this, the monitoring was never affected," Victor assured.
Victor says he expects negotiations with ADT to be complete within days. He wants Secure Watch customers to know their systems are secure.
Though some Knoxville employees told us they got their paychecks last Friday, some say they have not been paid for sales they made.
A branch manager for Secure Watch and Saber Security in Greenville, N.C. told 6 On Your Side seven people there are still owed money.
Secure Watch said Monday those employees haven't filed the proper paperwork.
We will let you know how negotiations progress between ADT and Secure Watch.