BBB Warns Of Door-To-Door Scams

Many legitimate companies use door-to-door sales. However, consumers need to watch for individuals who try to work their way around the system to line their pockets. Many door-to-door salesmen offer deals on everything from driveway paving to air conditioning repair to security systems.

If visited by a door-to-door sales representative, BBB recommends consumers do the following:

· Deal with local companies, not only to help the local economy, but also so that the company is accessible should you need them to return to fulfill a warranty or for other reasons.

· Read and understand the contract before signing. Get any verbal promises in writing. Include start and completion dates in the contract.  Never sign any contract that has blank spaces.

· Protect yourself by paying with a credit card-rather than cash-in order to take advantage of the consumer protections provided.

· Remember the "Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule." The Federal Trade Commission's Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives consumers three days to cancel purchases of more than $130 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business.

· Seek at least three bids from prospective contractors based on the same specifications, materials and labor needed to complete the project.

· Beware of high pressure sales tactics. A reputable seller will give you time to think through the deal and make an appointment to return at a later date.

· Never invite anyone into your home you don't know. If the salesperson refuses to leave and/or if you feel threatened, call the police immediately.