ADT warns of rise in deceptive sales practices

CSAA, ESA and BBB join ADT for press conference in Utah
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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY—With the summer door-knocking season upon us, the Better Business Bureau held a news conference here May 25 to address the fact that a handful of Utah home security companies are responsible for the majority of questionable sales practices occurring within the security industry.

Of the 600,000 consumers nationwide who turned to the BBB to find out about home security companies, “What they complain about, far too often, is that the sales person who knocked on their door was not honest about what they were selling,” Jane Driggs, president and CEO of BBB Utah said at the event.

At the event, BBB joined forces with ADT, the Electronic Security Association and the Central Station Alarm Association to warn consumers and raise awareness about deceptive home security sales tactics. Consumers who were victims of deceptive sales practices were also on hand to share their stories.

“We are here in support of one of our combined members ADT and Protection 1,” Jay Hauhn, executive director for the CSAA told Security Systems News.

“Because of their sheer size [ADT is] often the largest target of these deceptive sales practices, although the entire industry is a target of these folks. We are here in Utah, where a vast majority of the companies that are accused of these tactics are incorporated.”

Merlin Guilbeau, executive director for ESA told SSN that raising awareness is key. “This is an issue that is giving the industry a black eye, and it needs to be addressed,” he said.

ESA developed a document called the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct with specific guidelines that companies should use when handling sales practices and not just door-to-door. “It is unfortunate that a small population in our industry draws so much attention to this bad practice,” Guilbeau said.

The BBB said that stories like the one told by a Salt Lake City retiree who was fooled by deceptive sales practices, are far too common, as the person was told by the sales representative that ADT had gone out of business, her system was outdated, and that it could be disabled from the outside and she would never know.

In addition to live streaming the event across all BBBs throughout the U.S., the 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. “We urge those who are selling security systems to abide by the BBB Standards for Trust,” said Driggs. “Tell the truth, honor promises, and embody integrity.”