March 13, 2013
Beware Alarm Companies Making False Comparisons: Do Your Homework!
Competition is alive and well in the home alarm industry, and success is about to get even more challenging with a number of new entrants (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc.) joining the fray. Unfortunately, one reason it’s becoming tougher is that some companies play by different rules, particularly in how they conduct their marketing and sales campaigns. One great example is the door knockers who sell through fraudulent and deceptive sales tactics, including “poaching” existing customers from other alarm companies. Another is making false claims about your competitors’ products, services, or pricing to make yourself look better, especially on your web site. And FrontPoint has just recently found some glaring examples of this on competitors’ sites.
I recently looked up the difference between “misinformation” and “disinformation,” to see which word is the right one to use in describing what some of FrontPoint’s competitors are doing. It happens that misinformation is the more “tame” of the two, since there is an assumption that incorrect information is being presented or passed on without knowledge or bad intent. The term disinformation, on the other hand, implies that the perpetrator is intentionally spreading false information with the purpose to mislead. That’s the relevant word here – disinformation - because these companies (who shall remain nameless) clearly know that they are playing with the facts to bolster their own sales.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read!
When I look at some of our competitors’ web sites, especially where they have chosen to address FrontPoint’s products and services specifically, I am reminded of that great old saying: “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.” While FrontPoint may feel a bit flattered that we are successful enough to merit this kind of negative attention, we are also big believers in telling the truth: it’s no accident that the first of FrontPoint’s three core values is “Build Trust.” The other two, by the way, are “Dream Big” and “Be Awesome!” But Building Trust is the cornerstone of how we operate, so that’s the way we market and sell – and our customers have written many glowing reviews praising us for our honest and consultative approach. We think it’s the right way – and the only way – to do business.
I’m happy to report that unsavory behavior such as publishing false and misleading comparisons does come to light over time, and it does not reflect well on the companies using these less-than-honorable tactics. It can even make the companies sinking to this level appear desperate. Unfortunately, and this is the sad part, this bad behavior also has the effect of reflecting poorly on the alarm industry in general.
Why Companies Make Stuff Up
Yes, this is a tough market place. In the first place, there are roughly 13,000 alarm companies in the US alone. Only a few of them operate on a truly nationwide basis (FrontPoint is one of them), while the majority are smaller companies, often referred to as “Mom & Pop” operations. But the Internet is changing the landscape, allowing companies to reach a much bigger audience. And as more companies market themselves online, there is ample opportunity for “shading” the truth – especially about a company that you think poses a threat. Clearly that’s the case with the companies who are purposely misrepresenting FrontPoint.
Read What Customers Say
The good news is that consumers are smarter than ever, and are using all the online tools at their disposal – including review sites. In fact, there are even some sites that specifically focus on complaints, and they are great resources for comparative shopping. Plus, you can learn a lot in a short time. I’ve posted on the growth and importance of alarm company review sites before – and wrote recently on an alarm company warning issued by the granddaddy of review sites – the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Today you can check online reviews for just about any company - even the ones who knock on your door, offering a deal you cannot refuse: just remember: you really want to do your homework before you sign up.
Specific Sites to Visit
Some of the popular sites (like Yelp.com and epinions.com) have starred rating systems, and users can apply a 1-5 score along with a detailed description of their experience. Angie’s List is a membership review site, where their subscribers can share detailed notes about a wide range of service providers. FrontPoint has great reviews on all of them.
It’s no surprise that nothing beats the power and convenience of on-line customer testimonials. Customer reviews are simply the best way to compare companies and see what actual users have to say about their providers. This fact holds especially true when protecting your home and family, since you definitely want to choose the company with the best and latest technology, and the highest service level: all that spells peace of mind, which you deserve. And speaking of great reviews, this one was just posted on our Facebook page last Friday:
"My family and I chose you guys over ADT because of the rave reviews and how awesome your employees are. Props to Starsky in sales! He was not the least bit pushy (like you see a lot in sales), was very informative, and was great at following up with me. We're expecting our equipment in the next couple of days! If our experiences continue to be as pleasant as my experiences with Starsky and the tons of great reviews, this is the start of a great relationship :) Honestly, I told this to Starsky, I don't know that I've ever ran into a company before that has such consistent, across-the-board customer satisfaction and positive reviews like FrontPoint has. Keep up the good work and we're excited to be part of the FrontPoint family :)"
We couldn’t ask for a better review: and we love the fact that it talks about our consultative sales process. Of course, when you search for “FrontPoint Security reviews” you’ll find lots of the same great news. FrontPoint is committed to your safety and security – based on Building Trust on the front end, with honest and transparent marketing and sales. And we believe that is where it starts, at the beginning, when homeowners first look to us for peace of mind. If you have any questions about how we stack up against the competition, please give us a call. You’ll get an honest answer.