During the summertime, it’s not uncommon for companies to try to increase sales and revenue by dispersing sales agents into the field to take part in door-to-door sales. Unfortunately, this type of “cold-calling” often comes with misleading sales reps who will do whatever it takes to try and close as many deals possible. And now, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they are seeing an uptick in complaints about home security companies, in particular, who are using deceptive and aggressive sales tactics to persuade homeowners into buying unnecessary, and sometimes sub-par, home security systems and equipment.
Warnings, which have been issued nationwide, are urging homeowners to use caution when considering what security system sales agents have to offer and to beware of security system scams. At Sentry Security Solutions, we make it our mission to make sure homeowners feel safe and protected, which includes keeping unethical companies and their unnecessary or low-quality equipment at bay. Check out our tips for spotting a potential scam and how to deal with an aggressive sales agent below:
How Do I Spot A Home Security System Scam?
Door-to-door sales representatives from the various companies that have had complaints filed against them have uses a variety of approaches and pitches to get unsuspecting victims to buy an alarm system and monitoring services. Keep in mind, even if you already have a security system in place, you are not automatically immune to these door-to-door sales reps – in fact, some specifically target customers of other security companies.
If you or someone you know is approached by one of these sales agents, here’s what to look out for:
- High pressure sales tactics and limited-time offers – If a sales rep is making an offer than is only available for a limited-time and claim that you need to “act now,” don’t give in right away. Instead, take the time to do your research and make an informed decision. A reputable seller will always give you time to think through the deal and will make an appointment to return at another time.
- Equipment upgrades and replacements – If a sales rep mentions or implies that they are from your existing security company and that they’re there to “upgrade” or “replace” your current security system, it’s likely not the case. Your current security company should always inform you about upgrading or replacing equipment before a rep arrives at your residence.
- Current security company has gone out of business – If a sales rep claims that your current company has gone out of business and that they are taking over the accounts, or that the two companies have merged, call your current monitoring company to confirm before buying any new equipment and signing new contracts. In most cases, you would be notified of a change like this by mail or telephone, not by an unannounced visit by a representative.
- Requesting to enter your home or refusing to leave – If a sales rep is trying to make their way into your home, do not feel obligated to allow them in. It is not impolite or rude to tell a salesperson you’re not interested, and it’s best to say “no” on the doorstep rather than to trying to get them to leave once they’re inside. Additionally, if the representative continues to pressure you or becomes aggressive after you’ve asked them to leave, do not hesitate to call the police.
How Do I Avoid Home Security Scams?
Before letting a sales rep inside your home or before even discussing doing business with them, get as much information about the rep and company as you can. Some information you can ask for could include:
- Company name
- Company address
- Representative name
- Representative’s license number
- State that issued the license
- Name under which the license is filed
Other ways to avoid any sort of scam is to simply do your homework before ever committing to or getting involved with a new company. For example:
- Choose a reputable business.
- Get recommendations from your homeowners or renters insurance carrier.
- Contact multiple companies before making a selection.
- Ask about all charges up front.
- Know the ins and outs of your contract.
- What If I Have Fallen Victim to a Home Security Scam?
According to the BBB, almost every contract has a clause to get you out of it. So, if you sign something you later regret, there’s a good chance you can get out of the deal. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that with deals like door-to-door sales, you have a window of time after signing a contract to cancel. The Federal Trade Commission’s “Cooling-Off Rule” gives you three business days to cancel if you signed the contract in your home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. You have a right to change your mind, without giving a reason for canceling your purchase, even if the equipment has already been installed.
If you have questions about home security scams or are looking to invest in a home security system for your residence, Sentry Security has over 20 years experience and is here for all your security needs. Give us a call or fill out an online form to request a free quote today.