Summer sales scam alert

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07/01/2010

Is it my imagination, or are there more proactive public-service-type news stories appearing advising people to “Beware of door-to-door alarm salespeople”?

While I saw complaints almost daily last summer about specific summer sales companies, it seems that this summer I’m seeing fewer complaints and more warnings. This one’s from Washington state and gives consumers guidelines for dealing with peddlers of alarm systems.

Do you think it means there are fewer rogue summer sales people out there? That they’re being better controlled? Maybe consumers are getting smarter? Or maybe the ESA door-knocking code of ethics is having some effect?

Today’s warning is fairly straightforward and if it helps make consumers more careful in their purchasing, it’s helpful. It’s definitely not the best example of news writing I’ve ever seen, however. First, there are plenty of legitimate companies that sell stuff door-to-door.

And then there’s the sentence about how senior citizens can be easily confused. I have trouble with these kinds of blanket statements. They’re not helpful. I know more than a few 20-year-olds who are “easily confused,” and yet, I’d dare any door-to-door salesperson to try and confuse my mother. Give it a whirl, see what happens to you.

She’s in her 70s, probably doesn’t like the title “senior citizen” (I’m not asking, YOU ask) and if you’re a salesperson who’d like to try to bamboozle her, send me an email, my brothers and sisters and I will want to come watch.

Comments

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<p class="comment_author">July 12th, 2010 at 1:55 pm</p>
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<p>There have been fewer complaints where I live/work as well, although we did have an alarm company get nabbed for misleading an elderly woman into changing out her existing system by telling her they were going to upgrade it. They also did not have the required permit to be selling systems door-to-door. Outside of that situation, there really have not been many problems this year - which definitely is good news for the industry.</p>
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<p class="comment_author">July 2nd, 2010 at 10:13 am</p>
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<p>Two articles down, we are told that there are fewer sales people being hired this year by at least one of the the big door knockers, so maybe that is a small part of the reason.</p>
<p>I have to admit, there seem to have been fewer complaints so far this year, which is obviously good news for the industry.</p>
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