Most of us have been lured at some time or other by sales pitches that offer savings too good to pass up. Whether it’s someone ‘in the neighbourhood’ repaving driveways, landscaping, tree trimming, or selling home alarms or energy products, there are things to be aware of before handing over any money or signing any contract, especially at the door. Go to http://www.avoidenergyscams.com/ to get more tips on how to avoid energy scams.
We’ve heard or read about the person who answered the door, or turned the channel, to a quick talking sales person super passionate about why you should act “now” to avoid “missing out”. Common scenarios include the contractor, let’s say an alarm installer, who’s in the neighbourhood “for a limited time” and can only offer the discounted price “today”. Say yes and they can even install it tonight! Don’t forget the added accessories and options. Funny how the price drops as your hesitation increases. Same goes for someone offering to repave your driveway or trim your trees. If you’re buying into a TV ad, be sure you familiarize yourself with the return policy.
Although it may not always turn out to be a negative experience, be wary of contractors claiming to be in the neighborhood with leftover materials they can offer you for a “bargain”. Often, the bargain results in a rip-off when you end up having paid for the service, but the contractor never starts the project or leaves behind shoddy or incomplete work. Lesson here is, never pay in full until the job is complete and proper. If possible, do not offer any payment until the job is finished entirely. A little bit of work on your part – researching the company, following up on references – may very well pre-empt a lot more work and grief over a poor job or undelivered service. You may even end up spending more money to correct it.
Also, consider that fly-by-night operations may not have insurance or the proper credentials, which means that if they hurt themselves while working on your property, they may come after you to pay. Again, take the time to do your research. Verify their liability, workers’ compensation insurance, and certification credentials.
Don’t worry about “missing out” on the limited time opportunity: if the company is reputable and legitimate, they won’t be put off by your due diligence, or by having to send their equipment back to correct a problem. Don’t let high-pressure, last-minute scenarios force you to go against your better judgement. Go with your gut, it’s usually right.
Beware also of those who offer to complete a purchase/service without charging you tax. Often, this means you won’t be given a receipt, and therefore nothing to substantiate the purchase if issues do arise.
Bottom line, if something seems too good to be true, it likely is. Let common sense prevail and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if you’re simply not interested in what someone is trying to sell you. This is especially true at the door. Countless times, people blame the aggressive sales tactics of door to door vendors for being ‘forced’ into making a purchase. If you find the behaviour to be aggressive, record their identity, and report it to the company they represent. If you’re not comfortable, thank them for the pitch and close the door.