North Central News

Protect yourself from alarm system scams

A law that went into effect in October 2013 requires that all door-to-door salesmen in Arizona, including those selling home alarm systems, must have their license—actually called a registration—with their picture on them at all times when doing business (submitted photo).

A law that went into effect in October 2013 requires that all door-to-door salesmen in Arizona, including those selling home alarm systems, must have their license—actually called a registration—with their picture on them at all times when doing business (submitted photo).

Warm summer months tend to bring out sunscreen, swimsuits and alarm system salespeople. While the majority of these salespeople are from credible alarm companies, a few bad apples can unfairly taint the entire summer sales workforce.

Arizona Alarm Association is aware of summer sales because many reputable companies employ a door-to-door workforce to reach out to new customers. In order to help consumers make a decision about whether to buy an alarm system this summer, Arizona Alarm Association offers the following advice:
• Ask for their state alarm license before allowing someone in your home. In Arizona, everyone selling, installing and servicing alarms must be licensed by the Arizona Board of Technical Registration. They should have their license (actually called a registration), with their picture, on them at all times. Since this licensure law went into effect last October, some companies may not yet aware of it (those that do not keep up-to-date with their industry).
• Always ask for the salesperson for their name, company and licenses. Do not accept general statements such as from “the security company” or “your alarm company.”
• Only do business with credible companies. Ask the salesperson if the company they work for is an Arizona Alarm Association company (and go to www.azalarms.org to check). Companies that are members of Arizona Alarm Association are trusted within the electronic security industry.
• Take time to read through the contract before signing anything. Beware of a salesperson who insists that you sign a contract immediately. A professional salesperson will take time to answer your questions and clarify information. Read each word of the contract and understand exactly what you are signing. Make sure you get, in writing, your monthly rate, the length of your contract and any other fees you will incur from this product or service. Take a few days to look over the contract and compare quotes with other security companies to make sure you are getting the best price.

If you purchased an alarm system from a door-to-door salesperson and later feel you have been deceived, you may be eligible for a refund. Under the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule, you can void your contract and get a full refund if you contact the company within three days of the sale.

If four or more days have passed since the date of purchase, you should file formal complaints, first with the state attorney general, then with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

By filing formal complaints, you may be able to resolve your issue with the company. At the very least, your complaints will be kept on file and will be brought up when other consumers inquire about the company.

Don’t let the fear of being misled keep you from protecting your family. Work with an Arizona Alarm Association member company to help ensure you get an alarm system that meets your needs and stays within your budget.

Call the Arizona Alarm Association 480-831-1318 for more information.

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