MARTINEZ -- Two businesses that sell fire alarm systems and security monitoring services have been ordered to pay $525,000 and to upgrade their business practices to settle a civil lawsuit, Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson said Friday.

Peterson's office filed the suit against Utah-based companies Pinnacle Security LLC and Pinnacle Security CA, LP, which sell their alarm systems door-to-door at homes throughout the state and country.

Many of Pinnacle's employees are college students working during the spring and summer, according to Peterson's office.

In addition to the hefty settlement and restitution payments to some customers, the firms will now be required to clean up their sales practices.

The civil judgment states that company sales representatives must refrain from making false or misleading statements during door-to-door pitches, must immediately verbally identify themselves and who they work for and must disclose the total price of the alarm monitoring service.

Pinnacle will also have to use Spanish language contracts for customers who are given a sales presentation in Spanish and must limit the amount of contract termination fees it may charge.

Peterson's office has filed past civil suits against alarm monitoring service companies ADT and Vivint.



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