Beware of the Door-KnockersBy Home Security Source Jun 18, 2010 | 10:25:00 amPosted in: Burglary & Loss Prevention, Home, Personal Safety
The scenario goes something like this:
You get a knock on your door and a salesman claiming to represent a home alarm company gives you one of these pitches:
- Your current alarm company has gone out of business and he is there to transfer your account to the organization he represents.
- He represents your current alarm company and just needs to update your equipment.
- If you don’t have an alarm, he is willing to immediately install one and put a sign in your yard – if you sign a long-term contract on the spot.
The salesman could be legitimate, but he may very well be trying to scam you. He may even be part of a ring of burglars out casing your neighborhood.
Summertime brings these “door-knockers” out in force. Be careful or you might find yourself locked into an expensive, long-term contract with an unscrupulous company or come home and find your home emptied of valuable electronics, jewelry and other items.
This past April, eight leading home alarm providers – including ADT – signed a code of ethics from the Electronic Security Association, pledging to fight these door-knocking scams that harm the industry’s reputation. But recent news reports from across the country indicate the bad guys are still out there.
Here are some things that should alarm you – and actions to take – if a salesman knocks on your door this summer.
• Be concerned if the salesman tries to scare you into buying an alarm to protect against a recent rash of burglaries in your neighborhood.
• Some salesman will try to get into your home claiming they want to see what type of system you may need. Don’t let them in unless you are convinced they represent legitimate alarm providers.
• When asked to show company identification, the person has none, not even a business card. Also, representatives of reputable companies travel in well-marked vans.
• The salesman is wearing a shirt with a logo from an alarm manufacturer such as GE and Honeywell. These well-known companies don’t sell directly to consumers, nor do they allow their logos to be used by door-to-door salespeople.
• You can get a free system just by allowing the salesman to put a company sign in your yard. That “free” system may turn out to come with unduly expensive monitoring fees or substandard equipment and service.
• If the salesman claims your current company has gone out of business, have him wait while you call your current provider.
Before signing any contract offered by a door-knocker, stop and check out the company he claims to represent. Call your local police and/or Better Business Bureau for more information. And be sure to read the contract carefully, paying close attention to the length of the agreement, the monthly monitoring fee and any early-termination fees.
Be smart and be alert. Don’t allow yourself to be taken in by a smooth-talking salesman.
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