CAPE GIRAUDEAU, MO -(Effingham Radio)- The sign in front of your residence touting your home security system might help ward off would-be criminals, but it also could serve as a magnet for unscrupulous salespeople.
A door-to- door salesperson, noticing this sign, might stop by to warn you that your alarm system needs updates or that it’s defective and needs to be replaced.
Or the salesperson might tell you that your current alarm company has been sold and you need to have a new
That salesperson may switch you to a different alarm company, often without your knowledge – leaving you with two contracts to pay and with difficulty breaking either one without paying extra fees.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) received more than 5,200 complaints about alarm companies nationwide in 2017, making it BBB’s 25 th most-complained about business.
BBB warns consumers to use caution when approached by door-to- door salespeople urging them to switch alarm companies.
“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,” said Whitney Quick, BBB Cape Girardeau regional director.
“Don’t give into a high-pressure sales pitch.”
“A reputable company will allow you time to make an informed decision.”
A 77-year- old man in the St. Louis area told BBB that a salesperson told him his current alarm presented a fire hazard.
Also in the St. Louis area, a 94-year- old woman told BBB she was told by a salesperson that her alarm system needed to have its keypad replaced.
Both were switched unknowingly to a different company by salespeople.
Caution is the best policy.
Don’t be pressured into committing on the spot to a change in your alarm system that could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars.
“Remember, you are never under any obligation to purchase something from those who show up to your residence unannounced,” Quick said.
Consumers should consider the following tips as they interact with door-to- door salespeople:
- Research the business and owners carefully before signing a contract, providing any sensitive personal information or paying any money.
- BBB suggests checking the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 888-996- 3887
- Do not invite a stranger into your home unless you have made prior arrangements to meet with him or her.
- 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 do 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.