Unethical Sales Practices Foster False Home Security Alarms

Lock Pictures 001 Unethical Sales Practices Foster False Home Security AlarmsRecently the BBB received a report of elderly people getting calls from an alarm company “due to recent break-ins in your neighborhood.” When the seniors checked with their police department, they were told there had been no break-ins. Anyone exposed to this type of unethical sales practice is encouraged to file a BBB complaint.

Other issues include salespeople who tell you that your current company has gone out of business, or your current system is outdated and is about to stop working, or that they are working for manufacturers like Honeywell or GE (which don’t sell directly to consumers.) Some of these wolves in sheep’s clothing look professional, down to their laminated company badges.

So when salespeople show up at your door, no matter what company they’re with:

1. Think safety first.  If you’re home alone and don’t recognize the person, don’t open the door. Legitimate reps will leave a brochure or business card.

2. Be aware that displaying a security sign in your yard could make you a target for unethical sales practices.
3. Check with your own security company. A legitimate sales representative won’t mind waiting while you do. Also, try to get the salesperson’s name, and that of their company. Always ask for printed material. If they don’t have any or seem annoyed, it’s a red flag.

4. If you spot unethical sales practices in your neighborhood, call the police so there will be a record on file. You can also inform your Neighborhood Watch and/or the local BBB.

6. Know that your own company will contact you if any service changes are planned. You won’t hear this information for the first time from someone in your driveway trying to scare you.

7. If you do decide to go with a new company, check your contract for exorbitant early cancellation fees and be sure the monthly monitoring charge is in line with industry standard.

Thanks to the BBB Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens, and Northeast Georgia for information in this blog.

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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.