(MONTGOMERY)–Attorney General Luther Strange joined with members of the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure today in warning consumers to be cautious of unscrupulous solicitations and pressure tactics that may be used in an attempt to frighten people into buying or upgrading security products and services that may not be needed.
The Board has received reports of problems occurring particularly in the summer months when some companies employ a high volume of non-professional sales staff who may use unethical practices and target senior citizens as well as others.
“The Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure licenses companies in many of Alabama’s largest counties,” said Attorney General Strange. “Consumers who are considering the purchase or installation of a security system or locks should check with the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure to see if the company has a license and if any problems have been reported. Do not let anyone frighten you into making a decision before you are ready, or into buying something you may not want or need.”
The Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure reports improper scare tactics such as: claiming that recent burglaries have occurred in the neighborhood, stating they have come to upgrade one’s security system because it is not working properly, and saying that thieves are cutting phone wires to get people to buy cellular security systems. Other unscrupulous practices include pretending to be working in conjunction with a municipality to protect citizens and high-pressure pitches that are said to be good for that day only.
All locksmith and alarm companies in the State of Alabama are required to be licensed by the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure except in certain counties that are exempt from the state law. Consumers should ask to see an identification badge that is from the AESBL Board and not just from the business itself and confirm that the identification badge is for the current year. Consumers are also urged to report salespeople who cannot show the identification card proving that they are properly licensed by the Board. Under state laws and regulations, it is a class A misdemeanor to act as an alarm system servicer or installer or as a locksmith servicer or installer—or even to advertise as an alarm system servicer, installer or locksmith—without the required license.
Among the protections provided by licensure are that the employee has been subjected to a national background and fingerprint check and that the company is subject to the jurisdiction of the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure which can discipline the company and mediate complaints.
Consumers may contact the Board by calling 1-866-302-3725 or 334-264-9388, and the information is available at the webpage http://www.aesbl.com. Consumers may also check with the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-392-5658.