With warmer weather BBB serving Central Florida is receiving more reports for door-to-door sales in neighborhoods. BBB cautions consumers, churches and businesses to take these tips into consideration before doing business with a sales person at your door.
BBB offers seven tips to get the work done properly and protect against fraudulent operators:
- Do not make decisions at your front door. If you are searching for a new alarm system, your property requires maintenance, or you are looking to purchase other products; BBB recommends researching prospective contractors and sellers at www.bbb.org. There you will be able to see what other consumers' experiences have been like with the company. Also, do not invite unsolicited salespeople into your home. Better Business Bureau also urges consumers to be even more wary of telephone solicitations for products and services.
- Ask for identification and information. If someone is selling door to door, request they provide you with proper identification and leave you with material to read about their products and services. Legitimate sellers and contractors will give you the time you need to research their reputation and reliability. Check with your local city regarding the rules of soliciting in your neighborhood. Many times a special license is required for those salespersons going door to door.
- Watch out for high pressure sales tactics. Avoid sellers who encourage you to sign a contract or put down a deposit right away, claiming that they will offer a special rate, but only if you act immediately.
- Check all contractors' credentials. Make sure they provide proof of required insurance coverage, licensing and proof of registration.
- Get it all in writing. A contract should contain a description of the project, labor and materials to be used, a start and completion date and payment schedule. Make sure contracts contain any verbal promises in writing. Never pay in advance more than one-third of the contract value.
- Remember your rights. The Federal Trade Commission's "Cooling-Off Rule" gives you three days to cancel purchases over $25 made at your home or other location that is not the seller's permanent place of business.
- If you ever feel in danger, call local authorities. If a seller or contractor gets irate and/or difficult with you (for example, does not leave the premise after you have already asked), call the police. It's better to be safe than sorry, and you can help report potential problems that may help others avoid precarious situations in your neighborhood.