Door-to-Door Security Sales
The majority of door-to-door salespeople are from credible alarm companies, but the few bad apples tend to taint the entire sales workforce. The Electronic Security Association (ESA) is particularly aware of door-to-door sales because many of its members employ such a workforce to reach out to new customers. So, in order to help you make a decision about whether or not to buy a security system at your door, ESA offers the following advice:
Only do business with credible companies. Ask the salesperson if the company they work for is an ESA member company. ESA member companies are trusted companies within the electronic security industry. In an effort to provide consumers with products and services in a highly ethical manner, member companies are governed by a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. Members and their representatives (sales staff) must adhere to the following rules or they risk having their membership terminated:
- Representatives of member companies must accurately and clearly identify themselves, their company and purpose of solicitation before conducting a sales presentation.
- Representatives will be appropriately licensed and registered in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations.
- Representatives will immediately discontinue a sales presentation and leave the premises upon the request of a consumer.
- Representatives will not engage in deceptive, misleading, unlawful or unethical businesses practices.
Click here to see a complete list of rules found in ESA's Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
Ask for identification before allowing someone in your home. Some state laws require salespeople to identify themselves, their company and the product or service they are selling before asking you any questions or making any statements, while other states only require salespeople to carry the information on their person. Regardless of what your state requires, always ask for the salesperson for their name, company and licenses. Do not accept general identification statements such as “the security company” or “your alarm company."
Take time to read through the contract before signing anything. Beware of a salesperson that insists that you must sign the contract today. A professional salesperson will take time to answer your questions and clarify the information. Read each word of the contract and understand exactly what you are signing. Make sure you get, in writing, your monthly rate; the length of your contract; and any other fees you will incur from the product or service. You should be confident in the company and your decision. Take a few days to look over the contract and compare quotes with other alarm companies to make sure you are getting the best price.
If you purchased an alarm system from a door-to-door salesperson and later feel you have been deceived, you may be eligible for a refund. Under the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule, you can void your contract and get a full refund if you contact the company within three days of the sale. If four or more days have passed since the date of purchase, you can file a formal complaint. First and foremost, file a complaint with the attorney general office in your state. Find your state's attorney general here. Next, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). By filing a formal complaint, you may be able to resolve your issue with the company. At the very least, your complaint will be kept on file and will be brought up when other consumers inquire about the company.
Don’t let the fear of being mislead keep you from protecting you and your family from a home invasion or fire. Being informed, working with an ESA member company and following this advice will help ensure you get the alarm system that meets your needs and stays within your budget.