Don’t Get Fooled: Home Security Groups Warn of Deceptive Salespeople

At a recent press conference held in tandem with the Better Business Bureau, officials from two security-related groups spoke out against deceptive sales practices that had been associated with the industry.

With the summer months coming up, you’re more likely than ever to get a knock on your door from someone trying to sell you something.

The home security industry, which tends to be commonly associated with those unwanted door-to-door sales, has a message: Keep your guard up.

During a recent press conference held by the Better Business Bureau, officials with the Electronic Security Association (ESA), The Monitoring Association (TMA), and ADT spoke out regarding the deceptive sales tactics taken by some in the home security industry, many of which have caused security firms to receive low ratings from the BBB.

Lynn Conner, the head of BBB’s Northeast California chapter, highlighted the depth of the problem.

“In 2016, over half a million consumers nationwide turned to BBB to look up information about home security companies, but they also came to us to complain,” Conner said, according to Security Systems News. “Of the 3,500 business categories we tracked in 2016, home security sales ranked in the top 25 for the most number of complaints.”

She noted that part of the reason these tactics are so common is because deceptive sales, which may be based on false claims, are lucrative. A single sale can earn a salesperson as much as $1,500—meaning they can withstand a lot of rejection in the hunt for a successful sale.

The event featured actual consumers who had been victims of such scams, including 86-year-old Marie Marshall of Sacramento, who had been tricked into believing they were working with ADT when they actually weren’t.

“By the time I realized I had signed with another company, it was too late,” Marshall said, according to Security Info Watch. “I am very disappointed that I got duped into doing business with a company that practices deceptive sales.”

Both ESA and TMA spoke out against such tactics during the press conference, noting that they don’t reflect the actions of the industry as a whole. ESA Executive Director and CEO Merlin Guilbeau drew attention to the group’s code of ethics.

“There’s language specific to deceptive and unlawful business practices in that document,” he noted, according to Security Systems News. “The code specifically addresses the need for ESA members to carry identification and be properly licensed. The code suggests that they respect the customer and that they be honest at all times and represent their company and their services truthfully.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!