You want to feel your safe at home. You know having a reliable security system is on your list to do. So if a Salesman all of a sudden shows up at your door, offering you a security system with a convincing sales pitch you tend to jump right on it with out checking first.
But be aware security systems that security salesman has to offer. The FTC(Federal Trade Commission) The nation’s consumer protection agency. The state attorney as well are warning you to be aware of these sales people tactics.
Before you let anyone in your home. You must first ask for an I.D. with there picture and name on it. Many states and cities you are supposed to get an alarm system certification to be able to sell security systems or work on them.
For Example in Florida i have two Alarm System Agent Card. One for Fire and one for Burglar Alarms. You must attend a renewal course every 2 years. So you have to make sure you check ID’s and licenses are up to date.
How to know if your getting scammed
Usually salespeople will use a variety of ways to persuade you to buy there alarm system and there monitoring services. Most of these salesman that try to scam you have no guilty conscience what so ever. Here is some tactics they use:
- One of the commend ways is the “YOU NEED TO ACT NOW”. or ‘FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY AND YOU GET IT FOR FREE”. First of all, none of it is for free. Usually is either increased in your monthly bill to pay for it. Then with it they increase you contract term. for example . from 3 to 5 years. So at the end you pay more interest.
- They will try to pressure you in many different ways. They might refuse to leave. It’s not impolite to ask a salesman out of your house. If he refuses to leave and you feel trap. Call the Police.
- Another way is they try to scare you and tell about robberies in your area that really haven’t occur.
- If you have a sign outside your house that you have a security system, Some door to door salesman knock on your door and claim there from your alarm company and there upgrading your system. They will put a different system and make you sign a long term contract.
- Other things they might say is,your company has gone under and we are taking over the account.
How do i know the Alarm company is legit?
There’s a few ways to check if the company or person you are dealing with is a real company or not. The FTC and Attorney General urge you to ask the following questions:
- Contractor’s name
- Street address (no P.O. Box)
- Telephone number
- Contractor’s license number
- State that issued the license
- Name under which the license is filed
If they don’t want to fork over that type of information. Then is time you raise your red flag and ask them to please leave your premises.If they do give you information. Use these links to check there information:
Type of Home Security system Do you Want?
First thing you should do is as close friends,co-workers,neighbors and relatives if they heard of the companies you are currently researching and ask what alarm companies they have. And if they don’t mind telling you a little about them. Try to dig as much information about the company you are looking into doing business with.
Get written estimates of what is going to cost you to install system and monthly fee. Make sure you always read those little star quotes in the fine print. Ask a lot of questions and you always check what the other companies are offering.
Have they had any false alarm issues and how has the company dealt with it? Did they charge for coming to service the alarm?If they did how much was it?
I have been servicing alarm system for more then 25+ years. The most common thing i saw in the home security world was the poor training that was given after the initial installation.
Many times installers do a great job but forget the little thing like teaching the customer everything about the system. Not just how to turn it on and off. Make sure the company doing the installation is license to do so. Check with the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies for the agency in your state.
Make sure you check how long your signing a contract for. Most monitoring contracts do not include a service plan. Service plans are usually offer with a different form if not included with your monitoring.
If you sign a service contract. ask if it covers after hour service. Most service contracts are only Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. If does not cover after hours service,how much does the after hour service cost?
Make sure your system has a battery back up for Power failures. If the house looses Power your security system is backed up by batteries to keep security system running. Does your company offer services like smoke and fire detection, remote control, video surveillance, email notifications and special apps for smart phones?
In some cities you must register alarm with the county or the police department. You would have to check with your local authorities and see what are your options. Remember there’s laws that protect you. After you sign a contract many times you have up to 3 days to cancel it before it goes into effect.
You don’t have to give a reason either. Check with your state laws and the consumer protection agency, Make sure you ask salesman what if you want to cancel within that period.
There’s ways you can avoid all this. By installing a do it yourself alarm system. Wireless systems are more reliable then ever. Very easy to install. You don’t have to take a day off.
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