Louisiana’s warm weather is an inviting opportunity for door-to-door salespeople to come to your home and attempt to sell you a security alarm system.
As the state agency responsible for the licensing and regulation of such companies, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following advice should an alarm salesperson knock on your door:
- You do not have to answer your door if an uninvited salesperson comes knocking. You can tell him/her to leave. You always have the right to tell them to leave. If they refuse to leave, you have the option of calling the police.
If you choose to listen to the salesperson’s presentation:
- Immediately ask the salesperson for his/her identification.
- Don’t feel obligated to allow a salesperson into your home. Once inside, it may be difficult to get them to leave.
- Ask the salesperson to present documentation that he/she is licensed with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. State law requires that salespersons must have their license on their person at all times. If he/she does not have proof he/she is licensed, end the visit and ask them to leave.
- If a salesperson refuses to leave, contact the police immediately.
- Before signing anything, read the contract, including the fine print, thoroughly and in its entirety. Feel free to take as much time as you need to read the contract, even if that means the salesperson has to come back later. If the salesperson rushes you to sign the contract, end the visit and ask him/her to leave immediately.
- Look over the contract carefully, as many monitoring contracts are expensive and can obligate you for up to five (5) years.
- Refuse to sign any document that is not completelyfilled out.
- Always get a copy of any document(s) that you may sign.
- You have a right to cancel a contract within three (3) business days. If you decide that you do not want the system, it is your responsibility to notify the company of the cancellation in writing within that time period.
- Never give out personal information such as your birth date or social security number.
- Be especially cautious of the following:
- Offers that promise a “free” system or claims that your current system is old, out of date or in need of an upgrade or replacement.
- Claims that your home has been chosen as a “model” home and is eligible for a free system and/or reduced monitoring fee.
- Guarantees that you will receive a reduction in your homeowner’s insurance when a system is purchased.
- Salespersons that come to your home claiming to be with your current company. Call your company and verify.
- Claims that your company has gone out of business or that your account has been purchased from your company. Call your company and verify.
- Claims of increased crime in your neighborhood. Call your local police and verify.
The best defense against an unscrupulous salesperson is knowledge. Be informed and be aware. Should you have any questions or would like to file a complaint against a security alarm salesperson and/or company please call the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office at (225) 925-7047 or visit the website www.lasfm.org. You may also call the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-351-4889 or (225) 326-6465 or visit the website www.ag.louisiana.gov. You can also contact your local Better Business Bureau office or visit their website at www.bbb.org.
Download the original document from the Office of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal; 8181 Independence Blvd.; Baton Rouge, LA 70806