2018-07-18 / Front Page

Be cautious of door-to-door alarm salespeople?

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

The sign in front of your residence touting your home security system might help ward off would-be criminals, but it could also serve as a magnet for scammers. Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to use caution when approached by door-to-door salespeople urging them to switch alarm companies.

Consumers tell BBB they have been switched by salesmen from their current alarm company to a different company. Salespeople have told them their current system needed to be updated or was defective and needed to be replaced. Salespeople also have told consumers their current alarm company has been sold and they need to have a new alarm installed.

Consumers who have filed complaints with BBB say they sometimes are left with two contracts to pay, and they may be forced to pay extra fees for breaking a contract prematurely.

During 2017, consumers filed 5,219 complaints with BBB against alarm companies nationwide, making it the 25th most-complained about business. Consumers searched BBB for information about alarm companies more than 400,000 times last year.

BBB offers the following tips for consumers approached by door-to-door salespeople:

• Research the business and owners carefully before signing a contract, providing any sensitive personal information or paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling (317) 488-2222.

• If a salesperson shows up and claims there is something wrong with your security system, call your alarm company to verify what you’re being told. A reputable company will allow you time to make an informed decision.

• Do not invite a stranger into your home unless you have made prior arrangements to meet.

• Many communities require a special soliciting permit for companies selling door-to-door. Before buying anything, ask to see a copy of a permit, as well as any personal identification. Take down that information in the event there is a problem later.

• If you decide to buy, pay with a credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later.

• The Federal Trade Commission Cooling- Off Rule requires that door-to-door salespeople disclose to customers that the customers have a right to cancel sales transactions of $25 or more within three business days.

To review a business, visit BBB. org. You can also contact info@indybbb.org or 317-488-2222.

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