ADT, Security Industry Leaders Join BBB to Warn Consumers About Summer Door-Knocking Season

A news conference organized by ADT held at the Better Business Bureau included victims of deceptive alarms sales tactics sharing their experiences.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Members of security industry joined officials from the Better Business Bureau here yesterday for a press conference organized by ADT to warn consumers about the onset of the summer door-to-door home security sales season.

Local victims of fraudulent alarm sales tactics were also on hand to discuss their experiences.

Marie Marshall, 86, said she was deceived into switching her ADT service to another company which the salesman falsely claimed was affiliated with ADT. Marshall is now in a 60-month contract with that company, paying a higher monthly rate.

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

In 2016, more than a half million consumers across North America used BBB resources to research information about home security companies. But thousands also complained about dishonest and misleading sales pitches.

“Consumers should feel safe wherever they are,” said Mary E. Power, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “When a con takes advantage of people, literally at their front door, it poses a significant challenge. We appreciate the industry taking a lead on helping BBB address these deceptive sales tactics.”

BBB shared tips for consumers who are considering a home security system, and also released advice to potential employees who are being recruited to spend their summers knocking on doors.

READ NEXT: How Alarm Companies Can Defend Themselves From Door-Knocking Competitors

“We urge those who are selling security systems to abide by the BBB Standards for Trust,” said Lynn Conner, interim CEO of BBB serving Northeast California. “Tell the truth, honor promises, and embody integrity.”

Jay Hauhn, executive director and CEO of The Monitoring Association (TMA, formerly CSAA), and Merlin Guilbeau, executive director and CEO of Electronic Security Association (ESA), spoke during the press conference.

“We are in the life-safety business where credibility is incredibly important,” Hauhn said. “So, it pains me, greatly, to hear about how a few unscrupulous sales reps are giving a black eye to an entire industry that I dearly love.”

Guilbeau said the ESA Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct represents “our industry’s stake in the ground. It says that you cannot be a member of our association if your company engages in deceptive, misleading, unlawful or unethical business practices.”

Guilbeau advocated that ESA members take the code seriously and continually make it part of their company’s culture and way of doing business. Failing to heed ethical business practices outlined in the code could result in other ESA members and consumers taking “the appropriate steps by following the process outlined in the code and file a complaint so that ESA may take appropriate action.”

“Let’s be clear,” Guilbeau stressed. “We are not knocking door-knocking. Door-to-door selling is a very effective tool, practiced for decades in our industry. But it needs to be practiced the right way, with honesty and integrity.”

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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