During the summer, security system companies hire traveling sales agents to go door-to door, making "cold-calls" on homeowners. In some cases, the salespeople use high-pressure or deceptive sales tactics to get potential customers.
They try to convince people to buy expensive equipment and services that consumers don't need or want. The Fridley Police Department advises consumers to avoid sellers who:
* Make a time-limited offer and claim that you need to act now.
* Urge you to sign a contract stating the equipment is "free." To get your "free" equipment, you will have to sign a long-term and expensive monitoring contract.
* Pressure their way into your home and then refuse to leave. It is not impolite to tell a salesperson you are not interested. It is much easier and safer to say "no" at the doorstep than try to get the salesperson to leave once they are inside your home.
* Use scare tactics, such as talking about a rash of supposed burglaries in your neighborhood.
* Target homeowners who have signs on their properties for security systems with competitors.
* State or imply that they are from your existing security company and that they are there to "upgrade" or "replace" your current security system. Once inside your home, they may install a new system and have you sign papers that include a costly contract for the monitoring service.
* Claim your security company has gone out of business, that they have taken over the accounts, or that you have to buy new equipment and sign new contracts. Normally, you would be notified of a change like this by mail, not by an unannounced visit from another company's representative.
The Fridley Police Department recommends that if you in any way doubt the credibility of a home security sales person’s registration, feel threatened or intimidated by his or her actions, or experience strong-armed or deceptive sales tactics, YOU HAVE A RIGHT to ask the sales person to leave. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL 9-1-1 to report such activity.
INDEPENDENTLY CHECK WITH YOUR EXISTING HOME SECURITY SYSTEM PROVIDER BEFORE AGREEING TO ANY UPGRADES, REPLACEMENTS, REPAIRS OR CHANGES. DO NOT LET ANYONE RUSH YOU INTO MAKING A DECISION THAT YOU WILL BE LEGALLY LIABLE FOR.