Alarm Companies – How To Spot The Scams
Unfortunately, even in the monitored alarm industry there are salespeople who sell cheap, unreliable alarm systems and then vanish. One must be careful of those that tend to mislead and be aware of the warning signs when considering to install an alarm system.
Most of these sales people reach customers by going door-to-door to homes and businesses promising cheap or free security systems. They are attractive professional looking people with the logo shirts worn salespeople to make consumers think they are employees of well-known companies. While this does not automatically make all door to door salesmen scammers, it is up to you to ask the appropriate questions and do the appropriate checks to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate alarm dealer and not just making someone a quick buck.
All you have to do to get the “free” system is post the company’s sign in your front yard, pay an “activation fee,” and sign a monthly service contract. Unfortunately, the “free” alarm system being offered is a low-end product that industry experts say is easily disabled by a burglar unless properly installed. The homeowner might possibly be “left with a system that’s not designed or installed very well, has lack of proper insurance, higher than normal monitoring fees, no ability to enforce warranties, and a contract they are stuck in.
Tips to help make you aware
Licensed reputable alarm companies will meet with you at your home or office to find the alarm system that best works for your home or business. Scammers rarely care about the type of system you want or require. Their main objective is to convince you to sign a long-term contract with a monitoring company. They rarely take the time to explain how the monitoring works or even will name the monitoring company that is watching over your home or business. Once they have your signature, they collect a nice commission and disappear, never to be heard of again.
Be wary of FREE offers
Alarm systems are never free. The equipment cost is usually built into the monthly fee for the monitoring service. Alarm companies generally don’t make profits on the equipment, but on the monthly contract. You should focus on the quality of the service and the length of the contract. Make sure you are made aware of the length of the agreement and any associated early-termination fees.
Take your time.
Buying an alarm system is an important decision that directly affects the safety of your family, property or employees. Never let a salesman rush you into a decision with “this deal is only good today” trick. A scammer may go as far to claim your current alarm company is defunct or has gone out of business or claim that your current equipment needs updating.
What is included?
Ask what the free system includes. Usually a free or cheap system will include only a few door and window sensors, an inadequate or outdated alarm panel, and low-quality motion sensors. Typically that is not the level of protection most people need.
Like with any decision, if you get the feeling that something is not right, feel rushed or overwhelmed, listen to your instinct, politely take their business card and end the conversation.
Do your Research
Industry experts stress that to be safe, you should deal only with well-established companies. Find out which local or state agency has control over alarm companies and be sure to check the records of any alarm companies you’re considering using. You might also check to see if your homeowner’s-insurance company offers any discounts for using certain alarm dealers.
While an Alarm System is a wise and proactive choice in protecting your family, home or business, arm yourself with these tips to help you in determining the legitimate companies from the scammers who just want to make a quick buck.