Be Alarmed by Some Shady Home Security Salesmen

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Subject: Home Security Sales

Everyone needs to take a step back and gain a little perspective on this one. There are millions of homes in the U.S. that do not have security systems. There are of course a lot that do have a security system. Yes, I am an industry veteran and I have a very successful business protecting homeowner's and providing lifestyle enhancing products. There are always going to be bad apples in all industries as large as Home Security and Automation. I know the door to door approach works very well with a lot of businesses. If it was not a successful method, we wouldn't be talking about it. The good lord has provided me with a business of people who contact me and fit into my schedule. Most reps in that area are known for these same complaints in many industries. This business is all in the mind set of the representative be it sales or technician. Anyone who sells a product is often looked upon with a negative connotation. All from history and the culture of perception of salesman. Sales drives our world. The wealthiest, smartest and a lot of times the funniest CEOs are typically from a sales back ground. In Atlanta you can get very quality representation to educate you on all of your options. A professional will engineer your security system and use an efficient combination of equipment and maximize it's function in order to reduce total investment. You will either get a lot of up front equipment and warranties with many other advantages with a higher monthly rate. The other option is to pay a sizable up front investment on a product that will be grossly in need of an upgrade when 3 years rolls around.



This happens every year in our area. They seem to single out elderly people and tell them they bought out local companies and switch their equipment. We generally try to put out a pamphlet with our invoices and inform them of the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services website to verify licenses.



Consumers (especially home owners) also need to be aware of what security companies ACTUALLY do. For home owners, some of these companies play on fear, but when you read the small print some of the services may not be beneficial. Please read the small print!



The door-to-door security company scam is happening in the Balt/DC area. The guy didn't even know what my company was unless he was casing the back of my property where there is still a sign. Also it is rampant that a company will roll over your multi-year monitoring contract without you having a chance to decide. So, hey, use Angie's List to interview contractors and DO consider paying for your whole system and getting much cheaper, equivalent monitoring with or without a contract on your own. Quality is out there. You have to do your homework.



Why is it the state always gets the recovered money? The state isn't out anything...the consumers are. I hope this is just a way to say the customers who paid the money got it back...not the government. What's the point in filing a complaint if you don't get a refund?

Joe Smith


We are having a lot of complaints about adt authorized dealers. They do the same sort of thing described in this article. They represent themselves as adt but they are NOT adt. Adt monitors and services the contract, but this company installs the equipment, usually a very sub-standard install, and they use equipment that adt corporate does not normally sure way to know who you're dealing with is this: adt does not go door-to-door carrying signs giving away free security systems with a offer if the customer will simply let them place the sign in their yard. Adt also does not advertise in local papers or on local radio or tv, only in national publications and on national channels.

Randy Bolton


It seems that Orem and Provo Utah is are the base of many alarm companies who are questionable. I fell for one companies door to door sales pitch. I know of at least 2 other companies who are selling service in the Las Vegas area.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.