Door-to-door alarm system solicitors cause alarm

Several neighbors on the mailing list have mentioned a small group of nervous young men going from door-to-door pitching GE alarm systems. They may just be inexperienced at their job, but their demeanor, lack of brochures and business cards, and hard-sell tactics are causing concern.

Sara from the mailing list mentioned she’d seen them a few years ago when she lived in Queen Anne, and that she’d learned they are BYU students recruited by an alarm company every summer for door-to-door selling.

Reports from Monday and Tuesday have placed them canvassing homes east of Beacon Avenue from 18th to 25th Avenue South.

Contacted via telephone, Tim Burdick of Burdick’s Security on Rainier Avenue relates that he’s received a number calls about these hucksters lately; they were also around Columbia City yesterday. He too mentions that they appear to be some sort of summer program hired by an out-of-area alarm company that hits the region every year.

One of these men actually jammed his foot in the door when the homeowner attempted to close it, according to a caller Tim had spoken to, and they had also mentioned they represented “Platinum Security”. Interestingly, the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Watch crimelog had a report Monday afternoon from 24th & Spokane: “Attempted burglary. White male posing as alarm installer tried to push his way into the house. White hat, blue jeans now headed east on So. Hanford.”

Some digging online turns up Platinum Protection, LLC based out of Orem, UT. A telephone representative confirmed that they do summer door-to-door sales nationwide. While they have a Seattle summer office, contact information for that office was not provided.

In any case, if you feel threatened or in danger, do call 911. Call in your complaints to Platinum Protection as well: 801-223-6500.

Update: They’re active all over nearby; this sounds like them in Hillman City, too.

Thanks to Alex, Joyce, David, Hazel, Ezra, Sara and Sandra from the mailing list, and also to Tim from Burdick’s Security!

19 thoughts on “Door-to-door alarm system solicitors cause alarm”

  1. I had one in Brighton area on Sunday. Not only was he nervous, but he was also sarcastic: when I pointed out my Burdick’s sign, he said “yes, I saw it, and I didn’t think it was just decoration”. He offered the information that some alarm systems can be turned off from outside the house. That might have been his sales pitch, but it gave me the feeling that he might be the one to worry about.

  2. One of the platinum alarm salesman came to my door and I had to shoo him away. This guy knocked at our house around 9pm and looked hella suspect. Suprisingly, after saying no repeatedly to his sales pitch he asked me a favor to use our bathroom! GTFOH!!! Seriously, I think I need to get Jesse Jones on these chumps.

  3. A while male matching the description above was seen at my house last night and was told to leave. My neighbor thought it suspicous and called me. Around this time last year I also saw a similar young man and wrote down a description for police. If this happens to you CALL 911! Even if they are salesmen their tactics are illegal and dangerous!

  4. if they are from BYU they probably have a college ID card and if they are, then there is a really good chance (90%) that they are good guys, and trustworthy. anyone who sells door-to-door recruits at BYU because nearly every male there has served two years as a missionary knocking on doors. they are good at talking to people and they have experience with door knocking. very few of them would come off as inexperienced or scummy. these are usually really clean cut good kids, trying to make some cash during the summer. many of them do very very well and make a year’s salary in 3 months! not because they are ripping people off but because they have an incredible work ethic and are good with people. just be careful if they want to proselyte as it may cost you 10% of your income! this is also not a defense of all college kids selling alarms for the summer…a good number of them are scumbags. if you buy any alarm from the bug companies, you will get yourself a 3 or 5 year monitoring contract at about $30-$50 a month!

  5. A young man, Bobby P. came to our home this evening. He too is a student from ASU. Yes, he is a bit nervous, though not necessarily shy. The company appears to be legit. Because of the blog I did ask why they work until 9:30. He stated the manager gave them this particular directive. I shared with him that once the sun goes down they should stop going door to door.

    Nothing scarey about him. He also did state they don’t have brochures to pass out. This kid felt bad that they are getting such a bad rap and even wanted to show me other ID from his wallet even though he had a badge with his photo and full name and a GE Security white polo shirt. They are also dropped off in a neighborhood and then picked up around 9:30. All in all, I was quite ok with him. It must be hard to do door to door sales in this day and age. Heck, it was hard for me to sell girl scout cookies in the 70s on Beacon Hill back when everyone knew everyone, were friendlier, and not as paranoid. Hopefully as more and more info continues here that people will not be so freaked out.

    They appear to be blanketing the southend of Seattle from Jose Rizal bridge to Rainier Beach, from east of I-5 to Lake Washington.

    I can only hope this helps the next person as several of you provided the “heads up” for us and with the nicer weather coming up will provide them with a glass of water at least if asked.

  6. I just had one of this guys at my door on 15th Ave S. He was polite enough, and not threatening at all. Sounds like I may have had one of the less aggressive kids. I told him they should head over to Mt. Baker were they have more break-ins than we do here!

  7. We had a couple of these guys make their way down our street the other night (I live on 17th, so possibly the same guy who visited “Beacon Hill Mom” above). One guy knocked on our door, but I could see he had a buddy working the other side of the street.

    Like BeHi mom, he wasn’t too pushy, and left when I told him I was trying to put my daughter to bed. He did seem sort of inexperienced though, since after he made his pitch he said something to the effect of “does that make any sense? I’m new at this.” And, he made some joke about me having a Smith & Wesson security system, after I told him I wasn’t interested.

    The visit was odd, and left a bad taste in my mouth, but because I’d read this entry before, I wasn’t too concerned.

  8. They are doing this in Philadelphia, too. Many of our neighbors are very annoyed and scared. They have been ridiculously aggressive and also seem to be casing properties. Last year, our Mayor made an announcement that residents should call the police. So we are calling the police.

  9. This man meeting this description was walking in our neighborhood on Friday afternoon. He carried no informational materials. I am glad to read these comments. I wanted to know price, he couldn’t give me a price-$30-40 per month, the company was to pay for the installation to get a few homes in the neighborhood. That seemed odd to me. I am glad for these comments. I will be more aware next time.

  10. I’m in Erie, PA and they were at in neighborhood this week. They came to our house three days in a row and my husband ignored them for the first two days. On day three he talked to them, but said he’d have to talk to me first. They didn’t have any brochures or anything to leave, which seemed sketchy to me. I don’t know if the system is legit, but it doesn’t seem good to me. He said the company does the instal for free, but you have to pay monthly fee of $40. That seemed high. Either way it’s not in the budget, but I’m not sure they are legit.

  11. They just came here to our home on SW Orchard Street. No matter how many times I asked, he would NOT tell me what he wanted. When I got more assertive with them, they got nervous. I said “What is it that you want exactly?” and he said nothing and left.

    We have called the police who said they would come out to check it out. Don’t give them any information. Don’t answer your door if possible!

  12. Just an FYI for anyone who happens to come across this post (as it is ranked fairly high when searched in Google), they are in the Indianapolis, IN region as well this year. Could be different people trying to run the same scam, but everything I’ve seen on my internet search describes them exactly – white polo shirt with GE (or other reputable company) logo, possible sketchy looking “ID”, aggressive, don’t really give specifics, come late at night (like 8-9:30 ish).

    Even if it wasn’t a scam in past years (and it still might have been), it doesn’t mean that people won’t try and duplicate this and actually scam people now or in the future. I seriously doubt this guy was from BYU.

  13. Just had a guy knock on our door tonight in Greenwood, IN (just south of Indianapolis). It’s uncanny how the descriptions in these posts match what I experienced. He wore the white polo shirt with what looked like the GE logo. Said that kids cut the alarm systems wired to the house and that wireless alarm systems were the way to go. He came across nervous and kept saying how he wasn’t here to sell me something. He wanted to put an alarm system sign in my yard so that the neighbors would think that I bought a system. And, for doing that, I would be rewarded with a free device or installation at some time in the future. He then threw in the typical door to door BS about how he sold 8 units already to “neighbors down the street.” Who would ever fall for this? Anyway, it seemed very suspicious. It seemed like what someone would do to see if you had an alarm system — with the intention of robbing you later on if you didn’t have one. Glad to see these posts, though. Perhaps there is some “legitimacy” to this — only in the sense that these guys aren’t necessarily casing houses to rob.

  14. I came across an article in the last two weeks that indicated they were working in Issaquah this year. I almost posted the article here….

  15. I work in Alarm Sales and my best advice is check the BBB of any company that comes to your door. Most companies will also give you the system and installation for free, my company does as well. What you have to look out for are the hidden costs, warranty, and monitoring charges. For example, my company gives lifetime warranty on parts and labor, fixed monitoring charge that doesn’t increase each year, doesn’t charge extra for fire and medical monitoring, and a few other benefits. If someone comes knocking at your door, ask about these things.

    A monitored security system is something that every home should have. A good security system does more than just monitor for burglaries. It can monitor for fire, medical, panic, children safety, etc. I can not believe the people on here that think $30-$40 a month is to much for the safety of your family and home. Also, many home owner insurance companies will give you a discount of up to 20% on your home owners insurance just for having an alarm system.

  16. Creepy. We had a woman come to our door at dusk in Lombard, IL doing the same thing. GE shirt, “selecting advertisers” for a “new alarm system” because “kids cut the wires” on outdoor telephone boxes. Sounds like a script. She looked a little sheepish when I asked if there had been break-ins in Lombard, which is pretty safe. She got a little cagey when I asked about paying for monitoring, but eventually said that the monitoring company was separate and charged $1 a day. What worried me was that she started to ask about windows and doors in the home (which I didn’t answer) and wanted an answer immediately. Always a bad sign, that.

  17. A young guy with a GE shirt stopped by my house in Arlington Heights Illinois today. Same script as others mentioned. Free system ($1,500 value), $99 install, and $60/month for service. Talked about 15 minutes and he finally left after I tried to bargain with him.

  18. I’ve seen these Platinum guys In Georgia. They seem to be a very nice group of guys trying to earn an income during the summer before going back to school in the fall. The guy who did my demonstration was very informative and expressed a high level of professionalism. He came to my house and reviewed our system for any vulnerabilities that could be fixed and before he left provided me with a system I really felt safe having. Platinum Protection has really fast response times and the equipment is state of the art. If you have a chance to speak to one of these guys I would take the time to hear them out and you just may find they are the company you have been waiting to knock on your door!!!!

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