Better Business Bureau warns of deceptive security system sales this summer
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – With warm weather tends to come door-to-door sales offers, but not all of them are as honest as they should be. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning homeowners of deceptive sales representatives knocking on their door about home security systems.
“BBB was contacted by a local security system company this week, saying at least two of their Lexington customers reported being visited by out-of-town sales reps that implied they were affiliated with the customers’ current provider,” said Heather Clary, BBB Director of Communications. “The local company states it appears the solicitor saw the current provider’s signs or decals at their customers’ homes, and used that to make statements that he was there to ‘update’ the provider’s equipment.”
The local security system provider also informed BBB that they do not conduct door-to-door sales or visits.
In one of these instances, the customer assumed the solicitor was authentic and allowed him inside to have equipment installed. The customer was asked to sign the solicitor’s papers, which were actually a 60-month agreement with the out-of-town provider. After realizing what occurred, the customer contacted his local provider who helped him keep his current system operating and cancelling the solicitor’s contract.
Many solicitors operate within the law, but some may not as the summer season is the height of door-to-door sales of all kinds.
The BBB provided various tips regarding home security system sales:
- Choose a reputable business. Check out the company at www.bbb.org to see what kind of customer experience record it has. Search for a BBB Accredited Security System provider in your area that you can trust.
- Get several estimates. Find out if the business has proper licensing in your area. Compare quotes and remember to factor in the initial installation charge and monthly monitoring fees. Check to see if you can get a homeowner’s insurance discount for having a system installed.
- Understand the contract terms. Clarify all details of the agreement. Who will monitor the alarm system, the installing company or third-party center? What is the length of the contract and what is your recourse if you are not satisfied? What are the cancellation terms?
The BBB also advises of a few red flags for consumers to watch out for:
- High-pressure tactics. A reputable seller will give you time to consider the deal carefully and make an appointment to return after you have made an informed decision. Under federal law, you have a 3-day period to cancel any door-to-door solicitor’s contract on most products and services.
- Deals that sound too good to be true. Typically it is true that you do get what you pay for. Customers have been disappointed when products or services didn’t live up to the hype or the company did a bad job.
- Lack of company identification. Legitimate salespersons will provide you with ID for themselves and their company. Many locales require a door-to-door solicitor license. Use caution with those who don’t appear to have any ties to the community; itinerant sellers often enter and exit an area quickly, and may not deliver everything promised.
For any other questions or to look into businesses, go to the BBB website.