BBB warning Bay Area homeowners about door-to-door alarm sales tactics

Summer is prime selling season, BBB says
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 18:00:31-04

 A new warning tonight for homeowners across the Tampa Bay area. Each summer, thousands of consumers are targeted by deceptive door-to-door security sales, experts with the Better Business Bureau tell ABC Action News.

BBB has received a lot of complaints from consumers about less-than-ethical companies that attempt to get them to switch their alarm service by claiming to be their current provider offering an “upgrade,” or saying the current provider has gone out of business or has been sold to the door-to-door salesperson’s business.

In 2016, BBB processed more than 5,300 complaints about home security companies nationwide, the BBB said.

Walt Boyer, who live in Southeast Seminole Heights, came face-to-face with high-pressure sales tactics.

He said a salesman came to the door, saying he was from Boyer's existing alarm company, trying to get him to get an upgrade he already had. 

"I confronted him on it," Boyer said. "I said I already had that. Then I told him to leave."

If someone comes knocking at your door, watch out for high pressure sales tactics, deals that sound too good to be true and a poor rating with BBB, the BBB said.

They say a reputable seller will give you time to think through the deal and will make an appointment to return at a later date. Do not give in to high-pressure sales tactics; take the time to do your research and make an informed decision, the BBB said.

They also say watch out for deals that sound too good to be true. Some sellers might offer an extremely good price for their products or services. The adage holds true that you get what you pay for and many people have been quickly disappointed when the products didn’t live up to the hype or the company did a shoddy job.

The BBB also warns about salespeople who lack of company identification. Any legitimate salesperson will be able to provide you with positive identification for both themselves and their company. Also beware of sellers who don’t appear to have any ties to the community. Itinerant workers often enter and exit an area quickly, and may not deliver everything promised.

Before signing, the Better Business Bureau says work to choose a reputable business. The best home security system will accommodate your lifestyle and specific valuables you want protected, the BBB said. Carefully consider your security requirements and budget. You may also get recommendations from your homeowners or renters insurance carrier. Deal only with reputable firms and check out the company with BBB first.

BBB has learned door-to-door sales are actually pretty lucrative – a sales rep can make $1,500 for every contract they convert. If they get just one person a day to change systems, they can make $45,000 in just one month. It’s no wonder alarm system sales attracts college students who want to pay off debt, the BBB said.

 If you're considering a home security system, you can find tips here.