Summer Snafu

Companies are messing with Texas
Friday, August 1, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas--To rein in illegal and unethical activity of some unnamed summer model companies working in this state, the Department of Public Safety is working with the Texas Burglar & Fire Alarm Association and issued a public warning June 17.

In a press release, DPS warned “any Texan who is considering hiring an alarm company or installer to check whether the sales person and company is licensed to work in the state.”

Capt. RenEarl Bowie of DPS said there are properly licensed summer model alarm companies who “routinely do business in the state.” This warning, he said, is aimed at companies who are not complying with licensing laws and whose sales people are particularly aggressive and who mislead consumers.

Brad Shipp, executive director of TBFAA, sent out a separate press release and is working with his members to ensure that instances are reported to DPS. “There are some very aggressive, not well-trained, non-compliant, summer sales guys who are creating a lot of problems in Texas,” Shipp said. “In particular, there’s been a lot of activity in Houston and San Antonio, and I expect it’s occurring all through the state.”

Rodney Hooker is vice president of TBFAA and president of the Dispatch Center in Houston. “These are people who are not licensed in Texas and who are not playing by the same rules the rest of the companies in Texas are playing by,” he said.

Capt. Bowie said there have been no citations issued or arrests made, but that several door-to-door sales people had been questioned in Houston. “The investigation is ongoing and we are gathering evidence. We are still trying to figure out who these people and companies are.”

Bowie said it was Shipp and Hooker and others from the local alarm associations “who alerted us to this activity.” He encouraged security system installers across the country to learn who “the enforcement branch is for this type of activity [in their respective states] and to contact them with information about illegal activity” if they’re witnessing similar activity.