Home security scam goes door-to-door

Better Business Bureau is advising consumers to beware of high-pressure home security system sellers.

“Consumers are calling in high volumes, inquiring about people who are showing up to their doors selling alarm systems,” explained Lynda Pasacreta, BBB President and CEO. “They’re using high pressure tactics. In some cases, these people may not be licensed to sell security systems in British Columbia.”

BBB received a spike in calls from consumers in regions such as, the Thompson-Okanagan and Prince George. Reports from consumers allege that representatives are going door-to-door and are stating affiliation with well-known security system companies in order to persuade them to sign up for their services.

There are concerns with the aggressive sales tactics to install the security systems, pricing issues, and further problems with contracts involved, which lock-in consumers to long-term service.

According to the RCMP, consumers were offered time-sensitive deals that included free installation and were promised that their security system would be linked directly to local RCMP and ambulance services, which is not possible in British Columbia.

“Home security is critical to public safety, and some of the reports the BBB is receiving show that these representatives are engaging in false and misleading sales tactics and may be doing improper installations,” said Pasacreta.

BBB advises consumers to do their due diligence prior to making any decisions on home security systems:

Be aware of pressure sales tactics. Some unscrupulous door-to-door sellers will put pressure on you to close the deal at that moment, and even make special offers to entice you. Listen to their tone. Are they increasing in volume as they speak to you? Are they ignoring you despite saying you are not interested? Find a way to end the conversation quickly to avoid long, drawn out pressure sales pitches.

Verify the individual. If you are interested in buying from a door-to-door seller, get everything in writing including price, warranty and all conditions. Tell the salesperson you will check it out and get back to him. Get the business card from the individual and check with the company to verify this person is an employee.

Ask for license. Security systems sellers are required to be licensed by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and the seller is required to provide proof. The Ministry also handles complaints from both individual and businesses. To learn more go to: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca For more advice and to check out company reports, go to http://www.bbb.org/canada/

For interviews, contact:

Mark Fernandes Communications Specialist, Better Business Bureau

Tel: 604-488-8701 Email: mark@mbc.bbb.org