Better Business Bureau
June 24, 2011
Be Wary of Aggressive Door-to-Door Salespersons Showing Up at Your Door
Austin, TX ? Summer is here and BBB warns that consumers could be visited by salespeople who may turn up the heat with high pressure sales tactics and misleading offers.
Every year during June, July and August, consumers routinely file complaints with BBB against businesses that employ door-to-door sales representatives. Many of these complaints stem from the aggressive selling techniques used by company employees. Some examples of these high pressure sales tactics include aggressive and persuasive rebuttals to your concerns, deep discounts offered upon immediate payment, and refusal to take ?no? for an answer.
While many businesses utilize these door-to-door marketing tactics, BBB reports the following industries consistently garner a high number of complaints during the summer months:
Alarm Systems: Consumers complain sales representatives offer special deals that are not reflected in the final contract. Often times, these deals include additional charges for system monitoring, failing to include a promised discount or additional fees for equipment. Nearly 3,500 consumers have requested information about alarm companies from BBB this year alone.
Magazine Subscriptions: Over 600 complaints have already been filed with BBB in 2011 against companies selling magazines door-to-door. The most common complaint involves consumers paying for magazines they never receive. Furthermore, several consumers allege the sales representative misled them by claiming to work for a local school or charity on a fundraiser
Food Products: Sales representatives knock on doors selling produce or meat products, claiming their prices are much lower than grocery stores. Consumers complain to BBB that their orders never arrive, or are not of the high quality originally promised.
BBB recommends the following if visited by a door-to-door sales representative:
‧ Do not answer the door. Do not open the door unless you know who is knocking.
‧ Be wary of high pressure sales tactics. A trustworthy company should let you take time to think about the purchase and compare prices before buying or putting down a deposit.
‧ Confirm the business is registered and licensed. Ask the salesperson to provide the business registration and licensing information.
‧ Research the company with BBB. Visit bbb.org to view the company?s Business Review to find out more about the company?s marketplace performance. If you have a smart phone, you can visit m.bbb.org to access the company?s report while the person is standing at your door.
‧ Get transaction details in writing. Be sure you receive a contract or receipt explaining the details of your purchase and all the terms and conditions that apply.
‧ Remember the ?Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule.? The Federal Trade Commission?s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule allows consumers three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller?s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, the salesperson should always provide a cancellation form that can be sent to the company to cancel the purchase within three days. By law, the company must give consumers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.