Arrow-right Camera


BBB Tip of the Week

SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2011

DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES: As a kid growing up in Idaho, I once saw a commercial that started out with an elderly woman speaking through a barely-open door to a salesman. He was using high-pressure sales tactics and she was wavering. “Well, I don’t know,” she finally said. “I have to check with Brutus.”

The salesman scoffed: “You mean to tell me you can’t make a decision without permission from your husband? Come on, lady.”

The woman opened the door wider to reveal an enormous German shepherd baring his teeth. “Oh, Brutus is not my husband,” she said sweetly.

THE PITCH: Recently the BBB has heard reports from local home security companies that other companies in their industry are going door to door, claiming to be working with them. Under the pretense of upgrading the customer’s contracts, they sign them to a new contract with their company. Now the customer is committed to having two companies perform the work of one. And getting double-billed.


• Look up the company at 

• Tell the salesperson you must check your original contract before signing anything. Ask them to wait or come back later.

• Get contact information from the salesperson, including the company’s legal name, address, telephone number and licensing information.

• If anything strikes you as fishy, call your local police department.

• Read all contracts carefully before signing. Most door-to-door sales fall under the three-day cooling-off rule from the Federal Trade Commission. If you feel you were misled or deceived into signing a contract, file a complaint with the BBB or the FTC. To learn more about the cooling-off rule, contact the FTC at (877) 382-4357.

MORE INFO OR REPORT SCAMS: Visit the BBB website at Call (509)455-4200 or (800) 356-1007.

Holly Doering,

Better Business Bureau


Click here to comment on this story »