Buyer Beware

Friday, September 09, 2011

Today, in an act that is very much unlike myself, I opened the door to a solicitor and listened to what he had to say. Normally, I don't even answer the door but I was caught off guard and really did it without thinking. It was raining so I invited the man to step inside onto the doormat.

He was wearing a name badge and shirt that read Platinum Protection and it also had the GE logo on it. He preceded to tell me that he is offering a free home security system if I was willing to be part of their marketing group. I would have to display a home security sign in my front yard (similar to ADT or Brinks signs that I see) and I would receive installation of a $1600 security system for not one cent.

This sounded amazing and we sat down to talk further. I made it very clear that I was not interested in making any decisions today, I probably said that exact statement 5 times to which the man replied, "My job is just to take you through the paperwork." As the conversation went on, it turns on that you still have to pay $49.99 plus tax per month for monitoring on the system and you had to make a commitment for 39 months. Not so free at all. Red flags started flying from there on.

The contract he was presenting all had very different terms and he kept scratching things out with "discounted" terms, etc. After about a half hour I literally had to spell out for him that I would not be agreeing to any type of installation or services with this company until I did further research and also talked to the man of the house. I asked if he would come back at a later date and he explained that he had a quota to meet and it is only on the table today. He definitely used some strong arm tactics to try and close the deal, for instance he asked me multiple times to call Chris or text him to talk things over, reminding me that this was  only available today, and saying that I could cancel within three days even after the system had been installed. He even made some "qualifying" phone calls, verifying that I would qualify for this great promotion. When I asked about when installation could possibly take place he made a 30 second phone call after which he told me the technicians could be here to install within 30 minutes. By this time, I knew that this was too fishy.

This guy wasn't very personable either, very dry, and while he was able to make this deal sound very good I wasn't about to commit to anything. After very clearly explaining that again, I will not commit to anything and said that we are done and it was time for him to go this guy started stalling...BIG TIME, putting his papers away one at a time, asking to use the bathroom, putting on his shoes (it was raining, so they were off) as S L O W as possible, and asking for me to refill his water bottle. By the end I thoroughly had the heebie jeebies. I am pretty sure I hit him with the door as he left.

I am glad I followed my gut because a quick Google search returned a plethora of complaints and horror stories about this company, all detailing the same sales tactics that I experienced today, unfortunately many people weren't as skeptical as I was and were left with faulty alarm systems, 5 year contracts, and the inability to get out of those contracts. I'm still a little nervous about the whole situation because the sales rep filled out a contract as we spoke today with my name and address, etc and I really wish I would have asked to shred it so that I know for sure that he couldn't fraudulently sign my name to anything or have my information. I just hate that this guy made me feel silly in my own home.

Lesson learned. Do not entertain the idea of any door to door sales. If I want something I will seek out the services of companies I have thoroughly researched and contacted to come into my home.

And I will go back to dive rolling onto the floor when the door bell rings to avoid further situations completely. :)

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  1. That's scary! We get a lot of the hot water heater scammers in our area, so much so that Reliance (the company that we rent our hot water heater through) sent out signs to put on your front door that say "I don't talk to strangers, no solicitors please". I thought the sign seemed polite, and was nice of them to send to keep their customers from being harassed. Hope you're not too rattled!

  2. I think I need a sign like that. What was even creepier is that the guy came back today...twice! I didn't answer the door the first time and the boyfriend took care of it the second time. Yikes!!

  3. Hope he took care of him! What a creeper!

  4. OMG That same exact company tried the same exact stuff in my neighborhood. And I live in Metro Detroit! The guy I talked to made me feel like he was threatening me. He said, "just so you know, we know that your ADT sticker is outdated, and that you don't really have a working alarm system. And you should also know there have been a lot of break-ins in your neighborhood very recently." I shut the door on his face, and now I keep all my windows and doors locked whenever we go somewhere, even for a walk. I hope that guy that showed up to your house doesn't try to break in.