Welcome to spring… when snows melt, flowers bloom, and door knockers pushing alarm systems on unwary homeowners hit the streets in droves all across the US. The companies that employ these high-pressure hucksters are routinely in trouble, as you can tell from checking their poor reviews, complaints, and the fines, lawsuits, and other government actions listed on the BBB (Better Business Bureau) website. Even the Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about these folks.
One door knocking practice that is gaining more traction is to solicit existing customers away from other alarm companies – called “poaching” in the alarm industry, just like “slamming” in the telecommunications industry. We’ve already heard that this spring and summer will be the worst on record for door knockers soliciting customers from other alarm companies. It was pretty bad last summer, but the word is out that we haven’t seen anything yet. We’ve also heard that the door knockers are already hitting the streets in record numbers this year. And they are telling the same tall stories described in this article from Spokane, Washington.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s office is investigating a scam hitting the area involving a home security company. In recent months employees from Vision Security Systems have been in the Spokane area, according to officials. Employees have told citizens without security systems the Sheriff’s Office has received a grant and is paying for installation of new security systems. Employees have also contacted homeowners with existing security systems.
Lies and Outright Deception
Homeowners have been told they need to make changes to their system and sign a new contract through Vision Security. The homeowner has then been charged a higher price than the contract stated. In some cases, the homeowner still got charged with their original security system company as well as a new charge through Vision Security. This is a sixty-month contract that the homeowner only has three days to cancel according to officials. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said they do not have a contract for installation of home security systems with any company. Vision Security is a legitimate company, but employees are allegedly lying to customers and allegedly forging contracts.
Why Worse This Summer?
Reasons as to why this summer is expected to hit new ethical lows vary, but all the indicators are there: fierce competition in recruiting door knocking sale personnel, huge hiring bonuses to hire sales managers away from other door knocking companies, and a shakeup among the top companies who sell this way. The absurdly high sales commissions being thrown at college students selling door-to-door result in some door knockers crossing the line into overly aggressive selling – or even obliterating the truth to make a sale. As mentioned above, the most blatant cases involve poaching subscribers from other alarm companies. And while the door knockers claim such behavior is limited, or old news, the lawsuits, fines, and other statewide government actions refer to ongoing fraud and deception.
Harder to Sell Door-to Door
As many door knockers know, the bad news is getting out: countless customer complaints and horrible reviews continue to mount. All this negative press is making it harder for these companies to sign up new customers – which makes them even more aggressive, and that results in more complaints. It’s a vicious cycle for the door knockers.
Door knockers approached millions of homeowners last spring and summer, and the same is already happening this year. Remember, door knockers don’t want you to research them: the complaints are too numerous and too easy to find, and the low ratings from the BBB – to say nothing of more attractive offers from other alarm companies with better reputations and service records – like FrontPoint. When you’re ready to learn why we are the nationwide leader in wireless home security, just check us out online. We make home security and home automation safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. And best of all, you never have to answer that knock at your door.