Knock Knock: What to Do when an Alarm Salesman Knocks on your Front Door

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Six Tips from FrontPoint Security on How to Handle Door to Door Home Security Salesmen

FrontPoint Security

Most alarms sold door to door leave your home vulnerable because they rely on a phone line. A cellular alarm system is safer - so always ask for a cellular home security system. - Peter Rogers, COO FrontPoint Security

It’s that time of year again, when the seasonal alarm sales programs reach their peak – and this summer is no exception. FrontPoint Security, the leader in wireless security systems, has some timely advice for when you hear that knock on your door.

It was not so long ago that smart sales organizations targeted students, especially in western states like Utah and Idaho, to work as door-to-door sales representatives each summer. After pitching lawn care, vacuums, and encyclopedias, it was a logical step for the “summer sellers” to move into alarm system sales – and the growth of these companies has been huge. The largest door-knocking programs sold almost 200,000 alarm systems in roughly 100 markets across the US last summer. But there can be a dark side to these programs, so buyer beware!

In the first place, these alarm systems are not a great value. Most use a vulnerable home phone line for communication, and the monthly fees are high. The “free” or deeply discounted systems tend to be very basic, and additional alarm equipment that provides true protection can be very expensive. The sales representatives are very highly compensated, and that leads to sales pressure. In addition, the managers are paid on sales, so they are actually incentivized to look the other way when the sales people use questionable sales practices.

These companies have generated thousands of complaints about overly aggressive sales tactics and serious misrepresentations, resulting in jurisdictions fighting back. Some of these companies are not allowed to do business in certain areas, up to entire states that are out of bounds. To add to the confusion, some “door knocker” companies are notorious for targeting existing competitors’ customers for new system sales. A recent alarm industry blog listed some of the tactics used by these seasonal companies:

  • Pose as the existing alarm service provider
  • Pose as governmental officials
  • Misrepresent that a person’s existing alarm company sent the seasonal company
  • Misrepresent that a person’s existing alarm company is not in business
  • Targeting competitor customers and taking over equipment the original provider owns

What can you do when an alarm system salesman knocks on your door? Here are six simple steps you can take to protect your wallet – and your home and family.

1.    Always Ask For A Company ID – ask the alarm salesman to state the name of the employer, and not the brand of the equipment they install.

2.    Ask About Licensing - in many jurisdictions (state and local), an alarm company licensee is required.

3.    Get A Full Explanation Of How The Alarm System Works - especially how it communicates with the central monitoring station. Remember, these companies sell phone and internet connections that can easily be cut by an intruder. The only truly safe systems are cellular. If a cellular upgrade is available, ask what does it add to the equipment cost – and the monthly fee?

4.    Tell The Salesperson You Want Time To Think About It - any company that tries to push you into buying on the spot is not the trusted provider you want protecting your home and family.

5.    Do Your Due Diligence - on-line reviews are your best friend here, since it may be a company you (or your friends or family members) have not heard of. Some small companies are great – and some large ones are not. Along with Google, try BBB, complaints.com, and ripoffeport.com for specifics on any company.

6.    Ask About Interactive Services - like fire and environmental monitoring, remote control, video, and email notifications – and even special apps for smart phones. All these services are available today, and the best companies offer them, at affordable prices.

To learn more information about safe and reliable home security systems, visit the home security learning center at http://www.frontpointsecurity.com/home-security-how-to.

About FrontPoint Security: FrontPoint Security is the leading nationwide provider of wireless alarm systems. FrontPoint Security combines awesome technology with amazing service to create a truly unique customer experience. With customers in all fifty states, Canada and Puerto Rico, FrontPoint Security is one of the fastest growing alarm companies in North America. Founded in 2007, FrontPoint's management team brings more than 30-years of combined experience in the security industry. FrontPoint is a GE Security Authorized Dealer and Alarm.com’s Preferred Dealer for no-hassle security solution. For more information, please visit http://www.FrontPointSecurity.com or call 866-252-7630 / (866) ALARM 30.

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Kevin Bish
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