BBB Consumer Alert: Warm Weather Brings Scammers to Your Door
May 30, 2013 – Little Rock, AR – BBB of Arkansas is warning consumers to be wary of door-to-door sales companies making emotional pitches, but failing to deliver. The sales pitches vary, but often include that the salesperson is working to further his education or earn points toward winning a college scholarship or a trip. In other cases, the pitch plays upon consumers’ patriotism, with the salesperson showing a military ID or stating that he or she was formerly in the military.
“Because sales representatives are typically young adults, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitches. They often pay up to several hundred dollars by personal check given directly to the sales reps,”said Janet Robb, President/CEO Better Business Bureau of Arkansas. “Experience tells us that warmer weather brings an increase in this type of scam.”
BBB has received 2100 complaints, nationally, in the last 12 months about such companies, with over 1000 of those being unanswered or unresolved. Consumers have told BBB that the sales representatives used high-pressure and misleading sales tactics to sell products that were never delivered. Complaints also allege that the companies do not return phone calls and/or that the phone and fax numbers provided on the receipts do not belong to the company. One consumer became alarmed when her check cleared her bank within an hour. The two young men who approached her said they were selling magazines in exchange for a scholarship to college.
BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by door-to-door sales representatives:
- Be wary of high pressure sales pitches that use emotion to sell their products.
- Practice your refusal script prior to opening your door to a salesperson. Saying, “I never make those decisions without consulting my husband/son/sister” may be enough to send the salesperson on to the next house.
- Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau at arkansas.bbb.org, m.bbb.org on your smart phone, or use the BBB iPhone App. It’s quick and easy and it’s free.
Victims of fraudulent door-to-door sales can file complaints with BBB at www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started.
Also, check out this article on Fox 16, featuring advice from Mike Rohrer, COO Better Business Bureau of Arkansas, on how to avoid being scammed by Door-to-Door Salesmen.
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