WALLINGFORD, CT, August 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Summer is a time for fun in the sun, vacationing and outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, it is also a busy time for burglars, and, according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau, the beginning of a potential headache for consumers who aren't careful when purchasing a home security system. ---
A burglar alarm is a major purchase, and consumers filed more than 5,290 complaints about home security systems and monitoring companies last year nationwide, and in Connecticut, it was the 5th most complained-about type of business.
There are many door-to-door salesmen that may not have your wants, needs and safety as high on their list of priorities.
It is not uncommon for unethical salesmen to use high pressure tactics to persuade homeowners to act quickly. They gloss over the major features of their systems and rush through the process to make a sale, leaving out important details. Unfortunately, the sense of urgency can lead to a lot of trouble down the road if consumers don't do their research and ask lots of questions.
BBB advises consumers to do the following when looking to invest in a home security system:
Choose a professional installer - Deal only with reputable firms and check out the companies' Business Reviews at http://www.bbb.org/. You may also get recommendations from your home insurance provider.
Carefully consider your security requirements - Review the sales contract closely to ensure you understand exactly what equipment and protection you are buying and ensure that it fulfills your needs. Ask for a complete inspection of your property and an itemized written estimate.
Contact at least three companies before selecting an installer - Make sure to check with the Electronic Security Association website for a list of member companies throughout the United States who have agreed to abide by its National Code of Ethics. Free bids from Accredited Businesses are available with the BBB's Request a Quote feature available on http://www.bbb.org
Ask about all charges up front - Prices for home security systems will vary greatly, based on the level of protection and type of technology used, so consider your budget and compare bids on similar systems. Don't forget to factor in the initial installation charge, as well as monthly monitoring fees. Talk to your insurance agent, because some systems may qualify you for a discount on homeowner's premiums.
Know the ins and outs of your contract - If your alarm system will be monitored, either by your installing company or by a third-party monitoring center, make sure you are clear about the duration of the contract. Typically, monitoring contracts last between two to five years.
Some questions to ask before you obligate yourself to a long term contract:
•What is your recourse if you are not satisfied with the services provided?
•Can you cancel the contract, and if so, what are the penalties?
•What are your rights if your monitoring company is purchased or acquired by another alarm company?
•What will happen if you sell your property before your contract expires?
Insist that the installer walks you through your system until you fully understand how it works. This will prevent the most common problem: false alarms. False alarms can be an indicator of the quality of the alarm installation and user education, and in many jurisdictions, homeowners who have too many false alarms may be subject to fines.
For more information on finding businesses and consumer tips you can trust, visit http://www.ct.bbb.org
Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB helps consumers find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust, offers objective advice and a wide range of education on topics affecting marketplace trust. BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses. Today, there are 115 local, independent BBBs serving communities across the United States and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than three million local and national businesses and charities. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at http://www.bbb.org.
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