Six tips for dealing with door-to-door scammers
All kinds of door-to-door scammers are out and about, but it is the solicitors that are looking to take advantage and trick victims into home improvement and lawn service scams that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are warning homeowners about.
"Before hiring on the spot, be sure to do your research and check out a business at bbb.org," said Paula Fleming, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for the local BBB. "There are many reputable businesses with a good track record that will deliver quality work on time and within budget."
The BBB offers six tips for dealing with door-to-door salespeople:
- Do your research. You can always tell the person you are interested but to come back at another time. This gives you time to look up the business. Don't feel pressured to choose a business just because they are standing on your doorstep.
- Always request to see the seller's license. Many towns require solicitation licenses before you can sell door-door.
- Never pay upfront. If you’re paying for a service, make sure the work is being done to your satisfaction before you pay. Always avoid paying in cash and never write a check out to an employee.
- Ask to see the terms and conditions. Make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions before signing a contract. Legitimate businesses will give you the details in writing, including the commitment period, total price and cancellation instructions.
- Get all promises in writing. A contract should clearly state the services you will receive, as well as when the job is expected to be completed, payment terms and conditions, contact information for the business, as well as any refund or cancellation policies.
- The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer 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, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the business to cancel the agreement. By law, the business must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.
The BBB reminds people that if you are approached by a door-to-door scammer, turn them away at the door and submit a complaint to the local BBB.