A big announcement from Greater Spokane Inc. Thursday: 400 jobs are coming to Liberty Lake. The catch is that company providing those jobs has been sued by five state attorneys general for deceptive sales tactics.
The chamber of commerce is understandably excited for Vivint's arrival in Liberty Lake as it means 400 more jobs for the Inland Northwest.
"It's a huge economic impact for Liberty Lake," Robin Toth with Greater Spokane Inc. said Thursday.
Vivint sells home energy management software and security systems, but in three years nearly 2,100 complaints have been filed against them for everything from deceptive sales tactics to targeting the elderly.
On the Better Business Bureau's website you'll find Vivint's track record might dampen the spirits of any welcome wagon. Yet, despite overwhelming evidence of Vivint's deceptive sales tactics, GSI knew nothing about it until an interview with KXLY Thursday morning.
"No, we haven't talked to them about anything in regards to that and I know that with other call centers there's some issues with that but that's not something that we've been tracking," Toth said.
GSI focuses on the jobs but Spokane's Better Business Bureau has had their eye on Vivint.
"They seem to deceive consumers into thinking they're getting free services, free installations, or confusing the contracts," Chelsea Maguire with the BBB said.
Vivint has 2,092 complaints against them in three years; 1,200 of those came in the last 12 months. In five states the government has had to step in, twice in this year alone.
"Their attorney general offices have actually filed actions against Vivint for having those deceptive sales tactics and the consistent stream of complaints that have come through locally and it really encouraged them to say that this needs to stop," Maguire said.
Vivint settled those government actions and in one case they paid out $125,000.
"We don't condone any aggressive or misleading sales practices or tactics, we don't condone those or allow those in any way and really if you look at the size of our customer base, over 700,000 customers now, that percentage of complaints is so small," Erik Patrick with Vivint said Thursday.
Vivint plans to be up and running in Liberty Lake by July 15.
"We just want to make sure that our community is safe and that they are well taken care of and that the company is not coming in to take advantage of our area," Maguire said.
The Washington state Attorney General's office said they have 30 complaints against Vivint at their office; 20 more specific to Washington state have been filed at our local Better Business Bureau in the last 2 years.
As for the new jobs being generated with Vivint's move in to Liberty Lake, the jobs coming to the area will include management, some administrative positions but mostly call-center staff. Vivint also has door-to-door salespeople in town.
The Better Business Bureau wants you to be extremely skeptical of any door-to-door sales. Make sure you know what you're getting into, look over the contract thoroughly and if you don't feel comfortable don't feel pressured into anything. You can always contact the local Better Business Bureau if you have questions about someone who has come to your door.