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Beware of Door Knocking Sales Scams

It’s already halfway through summer and this year has had a rise in door-knocking scams. Big national companies like ADT have reported nearly twice the number of consumer complaints versus the prior year as awareness increases of a major issue threatening the image of the security industry and local, ethical companies like PASS Security.

Recently at ESX, a national security conference in Baltimore, representatives from business and national security industry organizations teamed up to discuss and help to fight this major problem at a news conference about Deceptive Sales Practices in the Alarm Industry. This took place on June 23 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The two industry organizations were the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). The executive director of the CSAA, Jay Hauhn and ESA President Marshall Marinace were among those addressing members of the local and industry press on this sensitive topic. Here is a video of a local Baltimore new broadcast on the event.

  David Bleisch, General Counsel of ADT, noted that ADT continues efforts to thwart these practices, including offering a reward to anyone who can provide lawfully-obtained information showing how alarm companies are training employees to engage in deceptive sales practices. “Another new addition is that we are requiring all ADT sales representatives to provide their ADT ID number when asked by a customer,” he said. “With that information, the customer would then call ADT to verify the sales representative’s employment status.” Baltimore resident Diane Pruitt described how a scammer recently solicited her, as did former Baltimore police officer Derrick Layton. CSAA’s Hauhn said that CSAA members are committed to trust between companies and customers. 8 “We are not knocking door-knocking,” he said. “Door to door selling is a very effective tool, practiced for decades. But it must be done the right way. Companies must train their sales reps to follow the ESA Code of Ethical Conduct and take swift and actionable responsibility when they fail.” His words were echoed by ESA President Marshall Marinace. Casey Callaway of the Council of Better Business Bureaus closed the session with the following information to help members of the public thwart would-be scammers.

  • Always check bbb.org first. Do your research and read customer reviews and complaints before you do business with anyone.
  • Think of your safety first. Always remember that you don’t have to invite salespeople into your home.
  • Ask for ID. Sales people should be able to provide proof that they actually work for the company they claim to represent, and you can also ask to see a sales license if your jurisdiction requires it.
  • Read everything. Don’t default to trust and quickly sign contracts without fully understanding what you are agreeing to.
  • Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics. “Must act now” offers and overly aggressive salespeople should raise a red flag.

Here are Tips from the Better Business Bureau to avoid being scammed.   Contact us directly with any questions about this or to learn about how PASS Security can help to better protect your home or business.

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