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Pushy Home Alarm Sales - Warnings on Door Knocker Scams Still in the News

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September 1, 2011
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Pushy Home Alarm Sales - Warnings on Door Knocker Scams Still in the News

Summer is peak season for burglaries, according to the FBI, but it’s also when those pesky “door knockers” pushing alarm systems hit the streets – and there’s a high probability that you or someone in your neighborhood was approached in recent months by one of them. With summer almost over, and many of these persistent young folks headed back to college, the door knocking pace has slowed. Even so, you still need to be on your guard – as this report on alarm sales complaints from Little Rock, AR reminded me.

A Little Rock security company is being accused of overly aggressive door-to-door sales. It seems the door-to-door tactic is not working for several Little Rock residents. Janet Rodd with the Arkansas Better Business Bureau says her phone has been ringing off the hook from residents complaining about one company's approach. "High pressure, some scare tactics, you know no one wants to be burglarized and sometimes especially with older individuals, they are a little bit easier target for this sort of thing but mainly it's high pressure, act now, sign now, we will install now," Rodd says.

Recurring Complaints of Pressure and Fraud

Door knockers are constantly in the news, and it’s not because people like the way they operate. Their tactics have come under increasing scrutiny all across the US, resulting in attorneys general filing lawsuits and revoking licenses. Former alarm salespeople have also been spilling the beans about how they are trained and managed, as shown in this previous post on Top 10 Door Knocker Lies.

Barely Time to Think

One of the hallmarks of the door knockers is that they try to install the system almost immediately after the sale. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) requires a three-day right of rescission, often referred to as the “cooling off period” for sales made in the home. With plenty of sales pressure up front and insistence on the system being installed immediately, it doesn’t leave the homeowner any time to consider their purchase. In fact, the FTC has issued a bulletin warning consumers about these alarm companies– and used the word “scam” in their alert. These companies move fast!

Little Rock Door Knocker Details

The company in question this time is Vivint, a home automation company with abilities to protect your home through alarm systems or turn down your thermostat when you are away. "The door to door approach allows us to be very consultative in making sure the people are getting something that is going to work for them," says Christy Knight, Vivint’s vice president of public relations. But the complaints are not a new development for Vivint. The BBB says the company formerly known as APX has faced government action due to its sales practices since 2008 in several states. In fact, the state of Arkansas is currently pursuing litigation against APX due to complaints made by residents in September of 2010.

What You Can Do

Rodd of the BBB says no matter what company knocks on your door, always be a prepared. "It's your money. It's your house. So don't let anyone abuse your situation and use those high-pressure tactics to try to force you to enter into an agreement that you might otherwise not want to do."

Most sources agree you should take time to check out a company before you buy an alarm system from them. It's also not a good idea to leave workers unsupervised in your home. And if you have to buy on the first visit, that’s a clear warning sign this may not be the company for you. Reputable companies always let you do your homework, check reviews, and compare prices and products.

FrontPoint has never sold door-to-door – and we don’t plan to sell that way in the future. That’s only part of why FrontPoint has an “A” rating with the BBB – instead of an “F,” like some door knocker companies. The best home security customers are the people who are looking for a system in the first place, and with home security expanding to including to include remote video, interactive features, and even control of light, locks, and thermostats, it’s no wonder that demand for FrontPoint is increasing. We offer systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. That’s what makes FrontPoint the #1 choice in the US and Canada for interactive, wireless home alarm systems. And it also explains why we have the highest customer loyalty in the business. Just read the FrontPoint reviews – and think twice about letting that door knocker in your home.

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