Ala. AG warns of unscrupulous security service practices

By Bryan Cohen | May 22, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange joined with members of the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure on Wednesday to warn customers of unscrupulous practices by security product sellers.

The board received multiple reports of problems during the summer months when some companies use a non-professional sales staff. Some salespeople employ unethical solicitations and high-pressure sales tactics in an attempt to frighten people into buying or upgrading unnecessary security products and services. Some registered complaints were made by senior citizens.

"The Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure licenses companies in many of Alabama's largest counties," Strange said. "Consumers who are considering the purchase or installation of a security system or locks should check with the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure to see if the company has a license and if any problems have been reported. Do not let anyone frighten you into making a decision before you are ready, or into buying something you may not want or need."

Some improper sales scare tactics include salespeople saying that thieves are cutting phone wires to get people to buy cellular security systems, stating that they are there to upgrade the security system because it is not working properly and claiming that recent burglaries occurred in the neighborhood. Other unethical practices include high-pressure pitches that are said to be good for that day only and pretending to be working in conjunction with a municipality to protect citizens.

All locksmith and alarm companies in Alabama must be licensed by the board, except in certain counties exempt from state law. To obtain a license, the companies must subject employees to a national background and fingerprint check. Licensed locksmith and alarm companies are subject to discipline from the board if they violate state regulations.

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