With summer over, we thought the “door knocker” alarm salesmen had packed up and headed back home; however, a recent article reminds me that some of the “seasonal” alarm sales programs do extend into fall. One company in particular is in trouble again, and now the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is on the case, along with several states. Here’s a link to a BBB warning notice from Alabama, and a separate link to an article on similar complaints in Louisiana – be sure to watch the video! Last year this particular company settled with Louisiana to the tune of $100,000 – and this year’s proposed fine is $366,000, along with revocation of the alarm license needed to sell in the State.
People with home alarm systems claimed out of town security companies were trying to mislead them into signing a new contract and getting a new system, even though they were already under contract. A local alarm company owner said, “To have a rep of another company come in and tell the customer their company has been purchased, and their equipment is being removed and now they’re gonna be monitored by a company out of state, it’s a terrible thing.”
I have posted on these pushy tactics before, and sincerely hoped the problems would cure themselves: after all, it’s not healthy for our industry when companies behave in a questionable (some claim fraudulent) manner. Here’s a recap of some of the tactics used by these seasonal companies:
- Posing as the existing alarm service provider
- Posing as governmental officials
- Misrepresenting that a person’s existing alarm company sent the seasonal company
- Misrepresenting that a person’s existing alarm company is not in business
- Targeting competitor customers and taking over equipment the original provider owns
Remember, most alarm systems use a vulnerable home phone line for communication, or charge high monthly fees – if they even offer safer cellular monitoring. The “free” systems sold door-to-door tend to be very basic, and additional alarm equipment that provides true protection can be very expensive. What can you do when an alarm system salesman knocks on your door? Here is the short list:
- Always ask for company ID
- Ask about company alarm licensing
- Ask about cellular monitoring and interactive services
- Tell the salesperson you want time to think about it
- Do your due diligence – online reviews are the best method
FrontPoint Security works hard to offer peace of mind through interactive, wireless home security that start with a consultation, not a “You gotta buy today!” sales pitch. That’s one reason our customers know what they’re getting, and love the service we offer. And the only thing we value more than our reputation is your satisfaction.