Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be careful when answering the door to traveling alarm system salespeople. Every summer, BBB receives complaints from homeowners alleging high pressure sales tactics and promises that were never fulfilled.
“Consumers are often told they must act now,” said Ron Mycholuk, Community Consultant for BBB of Central and Northern Alberta. “But it’s important to take a little time and do some research before purchasing any product or service.”
While many consumers search out home security companies, summer weather provides businesses the opportunity to go door to door to find their own customers. In addition, some consumers state sales claims never made it into the final contract. Consumers should be aware of their rights before making any purchases.
BBB offers the following tips for consumers purchasing a security system
- Deal with reputable firms. Do some further research and check out the company’s Business Review on edmonton.bbb.org
- Know your rights.Consumers have 10 days to cancel any door to door contract and even longer depending on whether service was provided.
- Study the contract carefully.Confirm information such as installation price, monthly price, installation time, length of contract, refund policy and cancellation procedures.
- Ask about a moving clause.What happens if you move? Can the system come with you? Is there a fee to move the system? Ask before you buy.
- Document problem dates.If you are having any problems with your alarm system, document the date, time, who you dealt with, what the problem was and what was fixed.
- Check out the monitoring company.The company making the sale may not be the company providing monitoring. Check out any company you would be dealing with before making a purchase.
- Compare similar systems.BBB recommends consumers get three quotes before making any purchase. But when gathering quotes, make sure you are comparing similar equipment and monitoring plans.
- Check the company’s licensing.In Alberta, companies require a Direct Seller’s license to perform door to door sales. Salespeople must also clearly display this license and photo id confirming the company they work for.
- Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each system. Ask for the procedures in writing before making a purchase.
Does the monitoring call you or the police first when the alarm goes off?
Does the company have a security patrol car they send out?
How soon after the alarm sounds will you be notified?
What happens if the company can’t reach you? Is the alarm reset? Are the police called? Are your alternate numbers called?
A home security system is a great way to keep your home and your loved ones safe. Asking the right questions and doing a little research helps consumers get the best security system for their needs.