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LEXINGTON – As the warm weather season begins, Better Business Bureau serving Central and Eastern Kentucky is warning homeowners to be on the lookout for deceptive door-to-door sales representatives offering home security systems, according to a news release.

“BBB was contacted by a local security system company this week, saying at least two of their Lexington customers reported being visited by out-of-town sales reps that implied they were affiliated with the customers’ current provider,” Heather Clary, BBB Director of Communications, said in a release. “The local company states it appears the solicitor saw the current provider’s signs or decals at their customers’ homes, and used that to make statements that he was there to ‘update’ the provider’s equipment.”

The release states, the local provider also told BBB that they do NOT conduct door-to-door sales or visits.

According to the release, one of the customers assumed the solicitor was legitimate and let him inside to have equipment installed. The solicitor asked the customer to sign papers which turned out to be a 60-month agreement with the out-of-town provider. When the customer later realized what happened, he contacted his local provider, which assisted him with keeping his current system operating and cancelling the other company’s contract.

The release states, summer is prime season for door-to-door sales of all kinds, and while many solicitors operate lawfully, some may not.

BBB has these tips about home security system sales:

· Choose a reputable business. Check out the company at www.bbb.org to see what kind of customer experience record it has. Better yet, search for a BBB Accredited Security System provider in your area that you can trust.

· Get several estimates. Find out if the business has proper licensing in your area. Compare quotes and remember to factor in the initial installation charge and monthly monitoring fees. Check to see if you can get a homeowner’s insurance discount for having a system installed.

· Understand the contract terms. Who will monitor the alarm system, the installing company or third-party center? What is the length of the contract and what is your recourse if you are not satisfied? What are the cancellation terms?

Red flags include:

· High-pressure tactics. A reputable seller will give you time to consider the deal carefully and make an appointment to return after you have made an informed decision. Under federal law, you have a 3-day period to cancel any door-to-door solicitor’s contract on most products and services.

· Deals that sound too good to be true. The adage often holds true that you DO get what you pay for; customers have been disappointed when products or services didn’t live up to the hype or the company did a shoddy job.

· Lack of company identification. Legitimate salespersons will provide you with ID for themselves and their company. (Many locales require a door-to-door solicitor license.) Use caution with those who don’t appear to have any ties to the community; itinerant sellers often enter and exit an area quickly, and may not deliver everything promised.

Check out businesses at www.bbb.org.

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