3 tips to avoid door-to-door security sales scams
When security system salesmen come to your door, always ask for identification as a licensed and professional provider will be able to provide you with this information, says Carpenter. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Joanne B. of Fountain Hills, Ariz.)
Date Published: Sep 20 2013
by Scott Carpenter of Action Alarm Solutions
Allowing any service provider into your home can be a risky venture, and the security profession is no exception. Use caution when a security company or any door-to-door service provider approaches your home without an appointment. In most cases, they will have a “too good to be true” deal that they are promoting, and it very well may be just that.
Below are a few tips to help you avoid door-to-door security sales scams.
1. Don’t feel pressured.
Stay clear from sales people that utilize deceptive sales or high pressure “only today” deals to encourage you to buy on the spot. A reputable company will want to earn your business and give you a great deal even if you take the time to research the company or product. Some companies will imply that they are with your existing provider and that they have come to upgrade your current system. Providers usually do not send people to homes unannounced or without an appointment to provide that service. They may even say that your current provider has changed, gone out of business or they are taking over your account. Beware and do not sign any documents before you call to verify with your provider. You would have been notified of such a change prior by phone or mail.
2. Ask for identification.
Always ask for identification when allowing someone inside of your home. Most states require each company and security sales person to apply for a license, have a background check, supply fingerprints and possess a valid state issued license. In Texas, it is required to have a pocket card license and photo ID displayed on your person when selling or installing security services. Be sure to ask to see their license. If they are properly licensed, they should not have an issue in displaying it to you. If the salesperson is hesitant in providing you with this information, that should raise a red flag. Furthermore, many cities require a valid door-to-door solicitation permit that is issued by the city, allowing them sell door-to-door for a certain period of time with proper licensing. This should be available when you ask for it. Check your city requirements.
3. Read the fine print.
Be sure to read the fine print once a company is selected. Review the written contract to be certain that it includes all verbally discussed
options made by the salesperson. Also, ask for references from the company's current client list as they should be able to provide you with this information. Additionally, Angie’s List is a perfect tool to prescreen and get a rating on reputable security providers, helping you make a better buying decision.
About this Angie’s List Expert: Scott Carpenter is the owner of Action Alarm Solutions, providing security systems in
Dallas. Action Alarm Solutions specializes in residential security systems and alarms, video surveillance cameras, home automation,
lighting controls and more. They are a recipient of the 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award. You can follow this #ALExpert on Twitter @ActionAlarmSol.
As of September 20, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily
reflect those of Angie's List.
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