Hauhn was one of several panelists at a news conference focusing on deceptive alarm sales practices hosted by ADT Security Services at the ESX Show
David Bleisch, ADT general counsel, addresses the media at a conference

Door-to-door selling can be an effective tool to garner new security subscribers, and it’s been practiced for decades, according to Jay Hauhn, executive director of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), Alexandria, Va. But it has to be done right, he says. A recent conference by ADT Security Services focused on deceptive alarm sales practices and the need to report such practices. In her latest article, Deborah L.O’Mara, SourceSecurity.com's dealer/integrator correspondent, highlights the necessity to educate consumers and alarm companies about fraudulent home sales initiatives.

Train sales representatives for door-to-door selling

“We are not knocking door knocking,” Hauhn continues. “However companies must train their sales representatives to follow the Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) Code of Ethical Conduct and [companies must] take swift and actionable responsibility when they fail,” he adds.

Hauhn was one of several panelists at a news conference focusing on deceptive alarm sales practices hosted by ADT Security Services at the ESX Show in Baltimore in June. The session also included David Bleisch, general counsel of ADT, Boca Raton, Fla.; Marshall Marinace, president of ESA and president of Marshall Alarm Systems in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; Diane Pruitt, a Baltimore resident solicited by a scammer; Derrick Layton, retired Baltimore police officer also solicited by a scammer; and Casey Callaway, director at the Council of Better Business Bureaus Inc., Arlington, Va.

Educate consumers about fallacious sales practices

"We believe the ESA’s Code of Ethical Conduct and providing a platform to raise awareness will assist so homeowners don’t get scammed", says David Bleisch, general counsel of ADT

ADT continues to spearhead the industry’s awareness campaign designed to educate consumers and alarm companies about fraudulent home sales initiatives, such as telling homeowners their current company has gone out of business, their equipment is obsolete, or promising extra security protection at escalated costs for what amounts to traditional monitoring.

“The good news is there is a lot of awareness being raised, which is the number one defence,” says David Bleisch. “We believe the ESA’s Code of Ethical Conduct and providing a platform to raise awareness will assist so homeowners don’t get scammed. We know it’s effective. While year over year the number of complaints did go up, today many more consumers are aware of the issue, took immediate action and didn’t let the salesperson in the door,” he says. In addition, Bleisch says law enforcement and state attorneys general are also taking action, going so far as to ban some companies from doing business. “At the local level and where licensing requires, authorities are more judicious in providing permits for door-to-door sales. We also encourage consumers to call police and we have heard of some arrests,” he says.

ADT’s reward program – report deceptive sales initiatives

ADT has a program in place offering a reward to anyone who can provide lawfully obtained information showing how alarm companies are training employees to engage in deceptive sales. The company recently refined the process, making it easier and quicker to claim the maximum $5,000 reward.

“We have made the program more accessible and easier to use. We continue to raise awareness and explain on our website how consumers or others can submit actionable evidence. We have nothing against fair competition through door-to-door sales or other methods, and it can be done effectively and properly. We don’t want people coming to consumers and lying to them.”

Baltimore resident Diane Pruitt recounted how she was solicited by a scammer. She has been an ADT customer for two years and said someone purporting to be from the company said her yard sign was outdated and that potential burglars could look at the back of the sign and determine how to disable the alarm. The door-to-door salesperson also said he was on site to upgrade her equipment. However, when Pruitt asked him if he was with ADT he said “no.” She demanded he leave and immediately contacted ADT to report the incident.

“It’s terrible that these types of pushy people are trying to cheat and scam unsuspecting consumers. You should continue to do more to help clean up the industry,” Pruitt said during the news conference.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

Deborah O'Mara Owner, DLO Communications

Deborah L. O’Mara, SourceSecurity.com's dealer/integrator correspondent, is a veteran of the security marketplace, having extensive experience in security, fire alarm technology and integrated systems.

In case you missed it

What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?
What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?

There is a broad appeal to the idea of using a smartphone or wearable device as a credential for physical access control systems. Smartphones already perform a range of tasks that extend beyond making a phone call. Shouldn’t opening the door at a workplace be among them? It’s a simple idea, but there are obstacles for the industry to get there from here. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control solutions? 

Securing a sustainable future
Securing a sustainable future

The UK Government has set out an ambitious ten-point plan, known as the green industrial revolution, with an aim “to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050.” This makes our government the first major economy to embrace such a legal obligation. Green recovery Acknowledging climate change and meeting net-zero is a demanding challenge especially for those affected by the pandemic. But the UK Government, with the launch of its aspiring strategy, is investing everything in its power to promote a ‘green recovery.’ Here, Reece Paprotny, Commercial Manager and Sustainability Champion at Amthal, highlights how the fire and security industry has an opportunity to use the current recovery period to explore its own sustainable journey and embrace the significance of environment, economic and social collaboration, transparency, and accountability. Employing sustainable technologies Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets The perception is that COVID-19 presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-write the existing rulebook. This is riding on the significance of changing public support for more environmentally friendly living opportunities, with associated cost savings, efficiencies, and cleaner industries. Innovative sustainable technologies are the key to kickstart this route to success.  Nowhere can this be seen more than in the built environment, which currently contributes to 40% of the UK's carbon footprint. Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets. This is through the entire life cycle of a building, to reduce their impact on the environment from planning stages, through build and demolition. Building the right environment By creating the right policy environment, incentives for innovation and infrastructure, the Government can encourage companies to seize the sustainable opportunities of new technologies and value chains linked to green sectors. They can accelerate the shift of current carbon-intensive economic and industrial structures onto greener trajectories, enabling the UK to meet global climate and development goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Transparent working practices Each industry sector is expected to engage and pledge its support to achieve the significant deadlines. Every company can make a difference, even with small steps towards a sustainable future. So whilst elements such as safety and security represent just one component of building the right sustainable environment, it paves the way to opening up our sector to greater efficiencies, transparent working practices, and encourages collaborative use of resources. Sustainability in security The security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into its practices In fact, the security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into their processes, and practices. This is right from product lifecycles to more environmentally friendly work practices when it comes to maintenance and monitoring services. When integrating environmentally friendly practices, starts with the manufacturing and production of the wide variety of systems in operation for the security sector. And some certifications and guidelines can be achieved, such as the ISO 14000 which looks into eliminating hazardous materials being used which in turn will reduce carbon footprint.  Upgrading supply chain process Observing the complete supply chain and working with partners to reduce unnecessary travel, shipments, and transportation of products, can all contribute and create sustainable processes.  In the maintenance and monitoring of products, it is essential installers and security specialists consider their own environmental impacts. Simple changes such as switching company vehicles to electric options for site visits can make a significant difference to climate change and improving air quality. Presenting sustainable ways of disposing of products at the end of their natural lifecycle is key to change in our sector. This is especially in the security industry where many customers will need a complete overhaul of outdated solutions or need systems upgrading due to changing threat levels. Sustainable evolution Progress is being made, specifically in the fire and security industry, in its sustainable evolution. Businesses are trying to develop a reputation for “sustainability” or “good corporate citizenship.” And it has gone well beyond the theory to the practical, where companies recognise activities have an impact on the environment and are also reviewing the social and economic influences. Three pillars of sustainability In a recent interview, Inge Huijbrechts, the Global Senior Vice President for safety and security and Responsible Business at Radisson Hotel Groups sees her vision to combine safety, security, and sustainability. Inge focuses on three pillars, namely, Think People, Think Community, and Think Planet. Think People means that we “always care for the people in our hotels and our supply chain.” So, in outwards communications, safety and security were always part of the Think People focus area. Think Community is caring and contributing in a meaningful way to communities where we operate. Finally, Think Planet makes sure that “our footprint on the environment is as light as it can be in terms of energy, water, waste, and carbon, and making sure that we incorporate sustainability into our value proposition.” Moving forward Apprenticeship schemes are integral to ‘think people’ and have a role to play in the social impact on the security industry There are immediate actions that can be taken by companies in the security industry to support sustainable development, working right from within a company to supporting industry-wide initiatives. From a social perspective, at a foundation level, “Think People’ can see the Living Wage Foundation as an example of a commitment to a team.  This is for businesses that choose to go further and pay a real Living wage based on the cost of living, not just the Government minimum. Apprenticeship schemes are also integral to ‘think people’ and have a pivotal role to play on the social impact on the security industry.  It addresses the sector-wide issue of finding employees with the right mix of skills to collaborate and meet discerning consumer demands for increasingly smart security solutions for homes and businesses. Impact of the full lifecycle of products From an environmental view, or ‘think planet,’ we need to collectively look at all elements of our industry, with a desire to analyse the impact of ingredients used, supply chain, or manufacturing alone, and also consider the full lifecycle of our selected products from creation to end of life. As Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal summarises, “This is a long-term, sustainable investment in our people, our products, and our business based on our values.” “When put together, a social team which feels empowers and operates in environmental optimum working conditions is in a position to provide a great experience to our customers, creating an economic positive difference. It forms the basis of a sustainable sector vision for the security industry-wide to adopt.” Taking action Amthal is taking action based on the ready-made universally agreed UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Also known as Global Goals, these are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member states. This agenda is a plan of action for people, the planet, and prosperity. By being an early adopter, we believe we can engage with customers, partners, and suppliers on these issues and generate opportunities to innovate for mutual and industry sector benefit. Together, we can contribute to building a more sustainable security sector and future, and contribute to the UK Government’s green industrial revolution.

What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?
What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?

Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?