BBB Helps Fight Fraud at the Front Door by Teaming with ADT and Other Security Leaders

As summer selling season kicks off, news conference with Louisiana State Fire Marshal features victims and tips on stopping deceptive sales in the security industry

BATON ROUGE, La., May 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Despite a downward trend in the number of home security customers victimized by fraudulent door-to-door security sales representatives, the Better Business Bureau is continuing to team with leading organizations to educate consumers.

During a news conference hosted today by Louisiana’s State Fire Marshal, H. “Butch” Browning, BBB helped sound the alarm about deceptive sales practices.

“We applaud the industry for continuing to root out the few bad apples who practice deceptive sales and con consumers,” said Carmen Million of the Better Business Bureaus Serving Baton Rouge. “Through today’s outreach we hope to prevent more front-door fraud.”

In 2017, over 700,000 consumers across North America used BBB resources to research information about home security companies. But thousands also complained about dishonest and misleading sales pitches, or reported door-to-door scams.

Two of those victims spoke out today and shared how unscrupulous sales reps tried to con them out of their contracts with ADT (NYSE:ADT), an A+, BBB Accredited Business and National Partner.

“I was misled into signing a contract with a salesman whom I thought was representing ADT,” said 62-year-old James Bourg of Greismar, LA. “After he quickly installed a new security panel, I did my homework and found out I was duped. I cancelled the next day.”

In 2016, nearly 3,400 customers complained to ADT about deceptive sales from competitors. There were 800 less last year. While complaints are declining, ADT vows to keep fighting.

“Whether we are bringing offenders to justice in a court of law or educating consumers in the court of public opinion, ADT will continue trying to stop deceptive sales in our industry,” said P. Gray Finney, ADT Chief Legal Officer.

At today’s event, BBB shared tips for consumers who are considering a home security system (bbb.org/homesecurity), and also released advice to potential employees who are being recruited to spend their summers knocking on doors (bbb.org/alarmsales).

“We urge those who are selling security systems to abide by the BBB Standards for Trust,” said Million. “Tell the truth, honor promises, and embody integrity.”

Quotes from Other Speakers:

Chief H. “Butch” Browning, Louisiana State Fire Marshal

“We’re talking about deceptive door-to-door sales reps who try to mislead and swindle homeowners in switching their home security service. It is an ALARMING problem. And as the leader of the state agency responsible for the licensing and regulation of security companies, I am committed to stopping this fraudulent activity.”

Merlin Guilbeau, Executive Director and CEO, Electronic Security Association

“When an alarm company deceives a customer by lying and misrepresenting itself, those actions reflect poorly on the over 500,000 security industry professionals who work hard to service millions of residential and commercial accounts”

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

MEDIA CONTACTS: BBB spokespersons are available across North America. Check out www.bbb.org/bbb-locator to find a spokesperson in your area. National media, contact Katherine Hutt (212-705-0131) or khutt@council.bbb.org. Trade media, contact Bob Tucker (561-289-0436) or btucker@adt.com. Louisiana media, contact Ashley Rodrigue (225-620-5115) or ashley.rodrigue@la.gov.