Scam Central: What to Avoid When Buying a Home Security System

The Better Business Bureau has received numerous inquiries from people researching security system companies.

Posted: Oct 5, 2021 9:40 AM

Millions of homeowners seek to secure their homes, families, and belongings with a home security system (often called a burglar alarm).

The Better Business Bureau has received numerous inquiries from people researching security system companies.

1. What are some of the concerns you hear from consumers?

The BBB has received a few complaints from consumers about less-than-ethical companies attempting to get them, to switch their alarm service.

This is often done by a door-to-door salesman claiming to be the consumer's current provider and offering an "upgrade" or by saying their current alarm service is out of business or was sold to the door-to-door salesperson's business.

2. What are some tips when looking for a home security system?

  • Choose a reputable business. The best home security system will accommodate lifestyle and specific valuables to be protected. Carefully consider security requirements and budget
  • Contact a least three companies before making a selection. Find out if they are properly licensed in your jurisdiction and ask if the company runs a criminal background check on employees prior to hiring
  • Ask about the charges up front. Prices for home security systems vary based on the level of protection and type of technology used.
  • Know the ins and outs of the contract. If the alarm system will be monitored, either by the installing company or by a third-party monitoring center, find out the length of the contract. What is your recourse if you're not satisfied with the services provided? Can you cancel your contract?

3. What are some red flags to watch out for?

  • High pressure sales tactics. A reputable seller will give you time to think through the deal and will make an appointment to return at a later date.
  • Deals that sound too good to be true. Some sellers might offer an extremely good price for their products or services.
  • Lack of company identification. Any legitimate salesperson will be able to provide you with a positive identification for both themselves and their company.

4. What happens if you change your mind after the sale?

In the United States, the "cooling off" rule is three days for door-to-door sales. When shopping for a burglar alarm, it is important to research the companies you're considering.

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