Vivint

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vivint, Inc.
Public
Industry Security Systems, Fire detection, Home Automation, Photovoltaics
Founded 1997
Founder Todd Pedersen, Keith Nelleson
Headquarters Provo, Utah
Key people
Todd Pedersen, CEO, Alex Dunn, president, David Bywater, COO
Number of employees
7000
Website www.vivint.com

Vivint, Inc. (formerly known as APX Alarm Security Solutions Inc.) is a private home security, home automation and energy management services provider in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.[1][2][3] Keith Nelleson and Todd Pedersen co-founded the company in 1999.[4][5] Pedersen is Vivint's CEO.[4][6]

In 2012, The Blackstone Group acquired Vivint.[6][7] As of June 2014, Vivint had approximately 7,000 employees serving 800,000 customers.[8]

Prosecutors in multiple states have sanctioned Vivint for deceptive sales practices. The Better Business Bureau has given Vivint a grade of "F" and issued a special warning about the firm.

History[edit]

In 1999, Keith Nelleson and Todd Pedersen co-founded APX Alarm Security Solutions in Provo, Utah.[5][9][10] At the time, the company sold and installed security systems.[9] Vivint began retaining customers in 2006 after it became a home monitoring provider.[9] The company expanded its service to Canada that year after signing a $75 million credit facility agreement with Goldman Sachs.[11] It received the J.D. Power and Associates "Outstanding Customer Service Experience" certification 2008 and 2009. Goldman Sachs and APX Alarm completed another credit facility agreement worth $440 million in 2009.[11] That November, the company acquired a central alarm monitoring station from Criticom Monitoring Services, a subsidiary of Protection One, in St. Paul, Minnesota.[11] APX Alarm opened a new corporate headquarters in Provo, Utah a month later.[12]

APX Alarm Security Solutions rebranded the company to Vivint in February 2011.[9][13] The company completed a $565 million senior debt financing led by Goldman Sachs that month.[14] Vivint also received funding from Peterson Partners and Jupiter Partners.[14] The company launched Vivint Solar, a solar energy company, in 2011.[15] The company partnered with Alarm.com early that year to deploy severe weather alerts to their customer base.[16] Vivint was acquired by The Blackstone Group in September 2012.[17][18][19][20] In December, PC World ranked Vivint 53rd in the "100 Best Products of 2012" list.[21] It ranked first among the home products on the list.[21] That year, the company received a Silver Stevie Award for "Customer Service Department of the Year" in the other industries category.[21]

The Central Station Alarm Association awarded Vivint "Central Station of the Year" that year.[22] In 2013, Forbes ranked the company 46th in its annual ranking of "America's Most Promising Companies."[23] Vivint acquired Smartrove, a wireless mesh networking technology provider, and began wireless broadband that August.[24] In October, Inc. named the company the second most job creating private company in the United States.[25] In 2013, the company created the Vivint Fellows Program, a summer internship program at the Vivint Innovation Center.[26][27][28][29]

Vivint launched Vivint Sky, a cloud-based smart home solution, in June 2014.[30] The system provides a centralized control, remote smartphone applications and learns algorithms that automatically pick up on a user's patterns.[31] In 2014, the Vivint SkyControl panel received a CE Pro BEST Award for "new custom electronic products introduced in 2014."[32] Vivint acquired the cloud storage startup Space Monkey, a company founded by Clint Gordon-Carroll and Alen Peacock that year.[33]

Vivint Solar[edit]

In 2011, Vivint Inc. launched a standalone company, Vivint Solar,[6] as a solar electricity provider that designs, installs, and maintains residential photovoltaic systems. Vivint Solar in 2013 is operating in 6 states: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, and California.[34][35] The company offers solar panels via a power purchase agreement (PPA).[36] Vivint Solar owns, installs, and maintains solar panels on customers’ homes in exchange for customers agreeing to purchase the solar energy their panels produce. Customers do not pay for installation, but pay for energy that the panel's produce, for the life of the contracts.[37] Vivint Solar is similar to other alternative solar companies like SolarCity, SunRun, and Sungevity. Its innovation in the field is the use of microinverters for each separate solar panel, allowing maximum production when some of the panels are in the shade.[38][39]

Its President and CEO is Greg Butterfield and its chief technology officer is Dan Rapp. In October 2014, Vivint Solar made its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VSLR.[40]

Vivint Innovation Center[edit]

Vivint announced a new innovation center February 2013.[41][42] The Vivint Innovation Center is the research and development arm of Vivint, Inc. It is located in Lehi, Utah in the business park adjacent to Thanksgiving Point and officially launched in October 2014.[43][44] It is staffed by approximately 320 hardware, software and radio engineers, industrial designers and user experience professionals. The Center is led by Matt Eyring, chief strategy and innovation officer; Jeremy Warren, chief technology officer; J.T. Hwang, chief information officer, and Jim Nye, vice president of product development.[45][46][47] Warren joined Vivint from 2GIG Technologies,[48] Eyring joined Vivint from Innosight, the innovation consulting firm co-founded by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, where Eyring served as a managing partner"[49]

Philanthropy[edit]

The Vivint Gives Back focuses on helping children with intellectual disabilities through intelligent products and services. Vivint employees and owners contribute time, money, and volunteer hours to perform services for these children.

In 2012, Vivint Gives Back was named the “Corporate Volunteer Program of the Year.” [50] In February 2014, the company donated $2 million to the Utah Valley University to establish a professional sales program,[51] as well as a SMART Lab for marketing research.[52][53]

In August 2014, Vivint employees worked with the Feed My Starving Children organization to donate $47,000 and assemble 200,000 meal kits to feed children in Haiti. In four consecutive years, Vivint donated a total of 800,000 meals, enough to feed more than 2,000 children for an entire year.[54]

In 2015, Vivint became the official safety sponsor for Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism organization.[55]

Vivint employees volunteer time and money to renovate homes for families who have children with intellectual capabilities. Employees install Vivint smart home technology in the homes and sensory rooms with developmental components such as swings, rock-climbing walls, reading nooks and art stations.[56] Since its creation in 2008, Vivint Gives Back has donated $9 million and more than 150,000 service hours.[57]


Consumer Complaints and Legal Issues[edit]

Vivint's sales practices have resulted in over 3,000 complaints to the Better Business Bureau, and resulted in investigations by at least fifteen states.[58][59] The Better Business Bureau has given Vivint a grade of "F", and issued a special warning about the firm, having received over 3,000 complaints over the past three years. BBB alleges that Vivint has resolved some customer complaints to avoid bad publicity, but has not addressed a "broader problem of false promises by door-to-door salespeople".[60]

Prosecutors in at least eleven different states have sanctioned Vivint for deceptive sales practices including high pressure door-to-door sales tactics and other violations.

On March 15, 2013 the Kansas Attorney General entered into a Settlement Agreement with Vivint, Inc. The company acknowledged using a variety of deceptive practices while going door-to-door offering to install new home security systems or replace existing systems. The Attorney General's Office said the salesman failed to advise the consumers of their rights under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and did not disclose all costs associated with switching alarm system providers.[61] Under the settlement, Vivint paid $55,000 to the state.[62]

On April 26, 2013 the State of Ohio Attorney General's Office entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance Settlement Agreement with Vivint, Inc. The settlement states that consumers filed complaints that the company made representations to consumers that its home security equipment was free, while failing to disclose the existence or amount of installation, activation and monitoring fees associated with the system. Vivint door-to-door sales representatives misrepresented the price of continued monthly monitoring fees, made representations that it was providing an upgrade to the consumer's current home security system; that the consumer's current security system company was no longer in business; or that Vivint was otherwise part of or authorized to continue monitoring the consumer's current home security system. Vivint routinely installed the home security systems on the same day the contracts were executed and within the three-day cancellation period and failed to orally inform consumers of their right to cancel the contract within three days or misrepresented the consumers' right to cancel by informing them they were signing the contract on a "trial basis" or that they had thirty days to cancel.[61] Under the settlement agreement, Vivint agreed to comply with Ohio consumer laws and paid approximately $50,000 in fines.[63]

On June 3, 2013 the State of Nebraska Attorney General's Office entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with Vivint, Inc. According to the terms of the agreement, Vivint promised not to make any misrepresentations while engaging in sales. The company was also required to pay $50,000.[64]

The State of Wisconsin took legal action against the company in September 2012, for deceptive and misleading sales tactics. The judgment ordered Vivint Inc. to refund up to $148,000 and cancel almost $450,000 in consumer debt. The judgment requires Vivint to pay refunds to consumers who were misled about their ability to cancel their alarm service contracts, as well as consumers who were misled about false alarm charges. Vivint also will remove affected consumers from collections and the company will pay forfeitures and attorneys fees to the State as well as improve their disclosures to consumers about their services and charges, making it easier for consumers to cancel their contracts if they so desire.[65][66][67]

Arkansas fined Vivint/APX $40,850 for over 40 violations in 2009.[68] On September 10, 2010 the State of Arkansas Attorney General's Office charged Vivint, Inc. with violating the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Vivint paid $125,000 for the costs of the investigation and prosecution of the complaint.[69][70] In 2008-2009, the company paid to the state of Arkansas $65,850 to settle allegations of improper licensing of employees, including alarm installers.[71]

The states of Washington, Louisiana, South Carolina, Minnesota and Tennessee have all fined Vivint/APX for violating state licensing codes.[68][72] In Washington, police cited Vivint/APX seven times in 2008 and 2009 for having unlicensed workers install alarms.[58] Louisiana also fined Vivint for violating a Cease and Desist Order, and engaging in false, misleading, or deceptive practices.[68]

In April 2010, Vivint settled with the state of Oregon for $60,000 over alleged aggressive sales tactics used by its agents, and for "targeting elderly Oregonians with misleading and high-pressure sales tactics".[73] The company also agreed to change some of its sales tactics.[74]

In April 2011, Vivint settled with Contra Costa County, California for $425,000. Under the settlement, Vivint admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to conform its contracts to California law and refrain from illegal sales practices.[73][75][76]

As of 2014, there were two federal class action lawsuits against Vivint for telemarketing (TCPA) violations.[77][78][77][78] Both lawsuits (Johansen v. Vivint, Inc., and Benzion v. Vivint, Inc) have been certified as Class Actions. In June 2014, Vivint agreed to a proposed settlement in Benzion which included a $6 million settlement fund.[79]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Dawson (June 29, 2013). "City business secures huge US linked deal". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Vivint rapidly automating Canadian homes". Security Systems News. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  3. ^ "APX Alarm Security Solutions Inc. Increases Credit Facility to $440 Million". Business Wire. 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  4. ^ a b Chanelle Bessette (February 6, 2014). "10 Questions: Todd Pedersen, CEO, Vivint". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Joey Ferguson (September 19, 2012). "Vivint's $5,000 to $2 billion journey from security to solar". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Cheryl Conner (February 20, 2013). "America's Most Promising: Todd Pedersen, Founder of $2B Home Automation Business, Vivint". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Blackstone buys security firm Vivint for over $2 billion". September 19, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ Nancy Blair (June 10, 2014). "Vivint Sky promises easy home automation". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d Antone Gonsalves (April 20, 2011). "To Sell Home Automation, Vivint Needs ‘Some Aggressiveness’". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ Mochari, Ilan (10 November 2014). "Move Over, Silicon Valley: Utah Has Arrived". Inc. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "Vivint Sheds Light on Its Marketing Methods". June 9, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ "APX Alarm Opens Second Central Monitor Station". Business Wire. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  13. ^ Sheila Shayon (February 25, 2011). "Goldman Sachs Stakes Vivint Rebrand as Smart Home Player". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Tom Harvey (February 4, 2011). "APX Alarm changes name to Vivint, enters new field". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Vivint Solar to hire 40 in San Francisco". 
  16. ^ "Vivint Severe Weather Alerts". YouTube. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  17. ^ "Blackstone Announces Closing of Vivint Transaction". Blackstone.com. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  18. ^ "Vivint Blackstone Deal - Fox 13 Utah". YouTube. 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  19. ^ "Vivint in top 50 of Forbes’ top 100!". Security Systems News. 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  20. ^ Jeff St. John (September 19, 2012). "Vivint, a Home Automation-Plus-Solar Player, Acquired by Blackstone for $2B". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b c "2013 Stevie Award Winners". Stevie Awards. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  22. ^ "Vivint Named Central Station of the Year at CSAA`s Annual Excellence Awards". July 11, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Vivint Promotes Alex Dunn To President - Yahoo Finance". Finance.yahoo.com. 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  24. ^ Julie Jacobson (August 16, 2013). "Vivint Selling Super-High-Speed Wireless Broadband Door-to-Door". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Black Hat USA 2014". Black Hat. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "Fellows on Vimeo". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  27. ^ Matt Eyring (September 16, 2014). "5 Keys to Building a World-Class Internship Program". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  28. ^ Harry Rein (September 18, 2014). "WHY AN MIT STUDENT CHOSE AN OBSCURE INTERNSHIP OVER SILICON VALLEY". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  29. ^ Anders Piiparinen (October 24, 2013). "BYU intern finds and contributes to success at Vivint". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  30. ^ Tess Nacelewicz (June 10, 2014). "Vivint launches own panel, own platform in new solution". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  31. ^ Chris Davies (June 10, 2014). "Vivint Sky hands-on: The Smart Home starts learning". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ "2014 Best Electronics Systems Technologies". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  33. ^ Aaron Tilley (September 10, 2014). "Smart Home Company Vivint Just Bought Cloud Storage Startup Space Monkey". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Vivint Solar to hire 40 in San Francisco". 
  35. ^ "Vivint Solar expands PPAs into Massachusetts". Cleanenergyauthority.com. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  36. ^ "Solar Energy Package Details | Vivint". Vivintsolar.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  37. ^ Matt Burns (2011-10-18). "Vivint Solar Announces $75m Partnership With U.S. Bancorp, Expansion Into Three New Markets". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  38. ^ "Solar Energy Package Details | Vivint". Vivintsolar.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  39. ^ "Array of the Week: Vivint Solar". Community.enphaseenergy.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  40. ^ "Blackstone Scores $1.1 Billion Gain in Vivint Solar Debut". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  41. ^ "Utah Business". Dev.utahbusiness.com. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  42. ^ "Vivint Creates Vivint Innovation Center - Yahoo Finance". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  43. ^ "Lehi-based Vivint debuts innovation facility". Deseret News. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  44. ^ "Vivint outgrows its Innovation Center | Security Systems News". securitysystemsnews.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  45. ^ Business Wire (2011-08-30). "Vivint Promotes Jim Nye to VP of Product Management". Business Wire. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  46. ^ "Vivint Creates Vivint Innovation Center". Reuters. 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  47. ^ "Vivint Opens Innovation Center". ContactCenterWorld.com. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  48. ^ Sun, Apr 7, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT - U.S. Markets closed (2011-04-04). "US Department of Justice CTO Jeremy Warren Joins 2GIG Technologies(R) as CTO - Yahoo! Finance". Finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  49. ^ "Vivint Ramps Up Disruptive Innovation". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  50. ^ "Vivint Named 2012 Corporate Volunteer Program of the Year". Business Wire. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  51. ^ KresLynn Knouse (February 4, 2014). "Vivint’s $2 million gift establishes sales program at UVU". UVU Review. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  52. ^ Annie Know (December 2, 2014). "UVU Opens Smart Marketing Lab". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  53. ^ Rebecca Lane (December 18, 2014). "UVU Takes Market Research to the SMART Level". Utah Valley 360. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  54. ^ Jordan Carroll (August 20, 2014). "With employees' help, Vivint sends thousands of meals to Haiti". Herald Extra. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  55. ^ "Vivint Partners with Autism Speaks as Nationwide Safety Sponsor". Autism Speaks. March 3, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  56. ^ "Photos: Vivint employees remodel house for family, children". Desert News. October 31, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  57. ^ "Vivint Employees Package Meals for Special Needs Children in Haiti". Retrieved 09-29-2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  58. ^ a b Gonsalves, Antone (2011-04-20). "To Sell Home Automation, Vivint Needs ‘Some Aggressiveness'". Bloomberg. 
  59. ^ "Vivint, Inc. Business Review in Provo, UT - Utah BBB". Bbb.org. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  60. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/US/military-families-besieged-door-door-alarm-salespeople/story?id=27523930
  61. ^ a b "Vivint, Inc. Business Review in Provo, UT - Utah BBB". bbb.org. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  62. ^ "Home security company fined for consumer protection allegations". Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  63. ^ "Ohio Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Section". Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  64. ^ "Utah home security company agrees to pay $50K". June 4, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  65. ^ 3 days 3 hours ago (2012-10-30). "Media Center | Wisconsin Department of Justice :: Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen". Doj.state.wi.us. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  66. ^ URL=http://www.doj.state.wi.us/sites/default/files/2012-news/summons-complaint-vivint-20120927.pdf
  67. ^ "Security firms settle with state". September 27, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  68. ^ a b c "BBB: door-to-door alarm salesmen in northwest Florida - BBB News Center". Nwfl.bbb.org. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  69. ^ Tom Harvey (September 18, 2014). "$2B deal for Vivint may be biggest ever in Utah". Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  70. ^ "Vivint, Inc. Business Review in Provo, UT - Utah BBB". Bbb.org. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  71. ^ Antone Gonsalves. "To Sell Home Automation, Vivint Needs ‘Some Aggressiveness’". Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  72. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  73. ^ a b "Oregon Department of Justice - SETTLEMENT REQUIRES SECURITY ALARM COMPANY TO PAY $60,000 AND STOP MISLEADING AND AGGRESSIVE SALES TACTICS". Doj.state.or.us. 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  74. ^ "Salem alarm company fined". Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  75. ^ Better Business Bureau. "Vivint". 
  76. ^ Office of the District Attorney (20 April 2011). "Civil Settlement with Vivint, Inc.". Contra Costa County. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  77. ^ a b "Johansen v. Vivint, Inc. :: Illinois Northern District Court :: Case No. 1:12-cv-07159, Judge Marvin E. Aspen presiding". plainsite.org. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  78. ^ a b "Benzion et al v. Vivint, Inc. :: Florida Southern District Court :: Case No. 0:12-cv-61826, Judge William J. Zloch presiding". plainsite.org. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  79. ^ "Announces a Proposed Class Action Settlement for All Persons Who Received a Call(s) Advertising Vivint Goods or Services". PR Newswire. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 

External links[edit]