BBB Helps Fight Fraud at the Front Door by Teaming with ADT and Other Security Leaders

As summer selling season kicks off, news conference with Louisiana State Fire Marshal features victims and tips on stopping deceptive sales in the security industry

Baton Rouge, LA (May 18, 2018) – Despite a downward trend in the number of home security customers victimized by fraudulent door-to-door security sales representatives, the Better Business Bureau is continuing to team with leading organizations, including The Monitoring Association, the Electronic Security Association, and ADT LLC, to educate consumers.

During a news conference hosted today by Louisiana’s State Fire Marshal, H. “Butch” Browning, BBB helped sound the alarm about deceptive sales practices.

“We applaud the industry for continuing to root out the few bad apples who practice deceptive sales and con consumers,” said Carmen Million of the Better Business Bureaus Serving Baton Rouge. “Through today’s outreach we hope to prevent more front-door fraud.”

In 2017, over 700,000 consumers across North America used BBB resources to research information about home security companies. But thousands also complained about dishonest and misleading sales pitches, or reported door-to-door scams.

jay at ADT BBB Baton Rouge Deceptive Practices event 2018

TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn addresses the issue of deceptive practices in the security industry.

Two of those victims spoke out today and shared how unscrupulous sales reps tried to con them out of their contracts with ADT, an A+, BBB Accredited Business and National Partner.

“I was misled into signing a contract with a salesman whom I thought was representing ADT,” said 62-year-old James Bourg of Greismar, LA. “After he quickly installed a new security panel, I did my homework and found out I was duped. I cancelled the next day.”

In 2016, nearly 3,400 customers complained to ADT about deceptive sales from competitors. There were 800 less last year. While complaints are declining, ADT vows to keep fighting.

“Whether we are bringing offenders to justice in a court of law or educating consumers in the court of public opinion, ADT will continue trying to stop deceptive sales in our industry,” said P. Gray Finney, ADT Chief Legal Officer.

At today’s event, BBB shared tips for consumers who are considering a home security system (bbb.org/homesecurity), and also released advice to potential employees who are being recruited to spend their summers knocking on doors (bbb.org/alarmsales).

“We urge those who are selling security systems to abide by the BBB Standards for Trust,” said Million. “Tell the truth, honor promises, and embody integrity.”

Additional coverage:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

 

TMA Supports Effort to Expose Deceptive Sales Practices in the Security Industry

Deceptive sales practices that mislead consumers negatively impact our industry’s reputation. On May 9 at 11:00 AM PT, TMA and ESA will participate in a press conference hosted by the Sacramento Better Business Bureau to support efforts to alert consumers about these practices. Two local ADT customers who were recently victimized by deceptive door knocking will speak.

The press conference will be covered by local media and live-streamed by the BBB to all 113 of their U.S. locations. The publicity will help enlighten and educate consumers about ways to prevent being misled. TMA will share highlights of the news coverage on our blog when available.

CSAA’s Hauhn Joins ESA, ADT in Warning of Deceptive Alarm Sales Practices

On May 25, CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn participated in a press event in Salt Lake City to raise awareness of deceptive home security sales practices. The event was co-hosted by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and ADT. Merlin Gilbeau, executive director of ESA, also spoke at the event, which featured two individuals who had been the target of sales scams relating their stories to the media. Hauhn and Gilbeau both spoke about the deep integrity of the vast number of security companies.

In 2015, consumer complaints about home security sales ranked in the top 25 of the 3500 business categories BBB tracks. CSA members can share BBB tips about buying a home security system with their potential customers; visit www.bbb.org/homesecurity.

Check out media coverage of the event at the links below.

 

WS of Room

ESA’s Merlin Gilbeau, CSAA’s Jay Hauhn, and BBB CEO Jane Driggs address the media. Photo by Bob Tucker.