Consumer Alert - Know Who's Knocking

Important tips to avoid unscrupulous and fraudulent door-to-door sales tactics

We've prepared some important tips on how to avoid unscrupulous and fraudulent door-to-door sales tactics that can compromise the protection of you and your family.

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  • Watch out for solicitors who want to upgrade or reprogram your home security system. We would never upgrade or reprogram your system without a prior appointment.
  • If the solicitor is not prepared to show you an ID badge and business card, tell them you're not interested.
  • Never give any money to any solicitors.
  • Contact consumer agencies like those we have listed below.
  • Never feel pressured to sign a contract on the spot.
  • Make sure the solicitor's alarm licenses are current and up to date. If not, they could be in violation of local Texas ordinances.
  • If they installed their security equipment without giving you three days to cancel, they are in violation of Federal law. Legally, you have three days to cancel a contract.
  • Know your current home security contract. You are expected to honor the remaining terms of your existing contract and may be responsible for any damage they do to our equipment.

Consumer Alert: Texas Attorney General Cautions Texans to Protect Themselves against Door-to-Door Scams

During the summer months, door-to-door salespeople may become more frequent in neighborhoods across Texas. One particularly common door-to-door sale involves security systems. Texans may get a knock on their doors from individuals claiming to be selling security systems or components, or claiming to work for their security system companies conducting tests or making repairs or upgrades. Some door-to-door salespersons may be legitimate, but others may use deceptive tactics to make a sale, taking advantage of trusting Texans in the process. Texans who find themselves answering the door for a salesperson claiming to sell security systems, components, or stating that a system needs to be tested, upgraded or replaced should protect themselves by following these guidelines:

 

  • Ask for proper identification. Door-to-door sellers of alarm systems must be registered with the Texas Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Private Security Board and are required to carry and present a DPS issued "pocket" identification registration which will include the salesperson's photo, company name and address.
  • Protect your personal information. Texans should not provide the door-to-door salesperson with personal information about themselves or family members and should not describe their security system or acknowledge the existence - or nonexistence - of a security system.
  • Texans should call their current home security system provider to verify whether they sent a representative to their home or not.
  • Don't be pressured into making a quick decision. Some door-to-door salespeople may be aggressive and claim that Texans "must-act-now" to qualify for "free" equipment or a big discount. Instead, homeowners should check with their security system provider before making any immediate purchases or upgrades or signing any paperwork.
  • Before signing anything, Texans should do their homework. Check the DPS website to confirm the company is licensed and take the time to check references. Get bids from at least two licensed companies and consider different home security system options before making a decision.
  • Texans should spread the word and warn their neighbors, friends, and family in the area about the door-to-door salesperson if they believe it is a scam - and report their experience to local law enforcement. For safety reasons, many counties and cities require door-to-door sellers to register before they go door-to-door.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints against the company.
  • Texans have the right to cancel. Under Texas law, a door-to-door seller must advise both orally and in writing of the right to cancel the sale within three business days. The door-to-door seller must also provide a contract or receipt stating the date of the sale, the name and address of the merchant, and a statement of the consumer's right to cancel the contract, which includes the address where the purchaser can send a cancellation notice. Texans should not sign a contract that contains any blanks or is undated and should always keep a copy of anything they do sign or initial.

    Texans who think they are the victim of a scam can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General by calling the Consumer Complaint Hotline at (800) 252-8011 or filing a complaint online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.

National Consumer Agencies

Look for the Department of Consumer Affairs and other protection agencies for all states at www.consumeraction.gov/state.shtml