The BBB, our national business watchdog, has issued a flurry of “scam alerts” notifying homeowners around the country about door-to-door hucksters trying to sell everything from AC inspections and duct cleaning services to gutters and siding.
You might think that anyone who tries to drum up business by going door-to-door is on the shady side. But the BBB isn’t willing to go that far, saying that some door-knockers “operate ethically and represent reputable companies.” They are simply trying to make a living — and often seize the opportunity to do so after a neighborhood has been struck by an act of nature, such as torrential rains, hail, high winds, floods or other natural disasters. In times like these, they can provide a much-needed service (though their inflated fees don’t always conform to their purported compassionate presence).
It’s the shady characters you have to stare down, and we want to help you put on your game face. After all, you didn’t schedule an appointment for these people to visit your home. They’re showing up with the hope they can sell you something, so heed these five “buyer beware” tips from the BBB:
- Stand your ground if you have a “no solicitors” sign near your front door. A Las Vegas code reads that “no person engaged in peddling or soliciting shall…attempt to peddle or solicit at any dwelling where there is displayed near its entrance a sign bearing the words ‘no peddlers or solicitors’ or other words of similar import…”
- Ask to see identification. An honest sales person won’t hide anything, especially identification. Door-to-door sales people may not wear shirts imprinted with their name and company – unlike the technicians at Instant Air – but they should offer a photo ID and business card.
- Resist offers that are accompanied by deadline pressure. “One-day only” offers are often extended by “contractors” who won’t be in town two days later. And “group” discounts that are conditional on the mutual acceptance of neighbors are suspicious, too. Reputable contractors don’t resort to high-pressure tactics.
- Know your rights if you do sign a contract. The Federal Trade Commission’s “three-day cooling off rule gives consumers three days to cancel purchases of more than $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business.” A sales person should provide a receipt and a cancellation form that a consumer can send to the company to cancel the contract. By law, a company must provide a refund within 10 days of receiving a cancellation notice.
- Trust your gut instinct. Better to talk with strangers outdoors. But if you do invite a stranger into your home and he (or she) gives you any reason to fear for your safety, ask the person to leave. If they delay or refuse, call 911.
Be Safe and Avoid the AC Inspection Scams
With worries like these to navigate, it’s no wonder that so many Las Vegas residents simply do not answer the doorbell for sales people. And if they need an important service such as an AC inspection or duct cleaning, they call a reputable, trustworthy company that has long called Las Vegas home – and has the satisfied customers to prove it. Give Instant Air a call at (702) 385-2665 and you can rest easy knowing our technicians put our custom