MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The Better Business Bureau is warning homeowners about a home security company that sells by going door-to-door.
Ella Mae Sims said a salesman representing Safeguard America Security Services knocked on her door one day in July offering to install a new security system at no cost.
Sims already had a security alarm system installed. But she said the Safeguard America salesman promised his company would pay off the remaining balance on her old system. And that she could expect to save $20 a month once the new system was installed. In hopes of saving money, Sims signed a contract with Safeguard America on July 10th.
"I'm already on a fixed income," Sims stated. "So I was trying to get something cheaper that would help me out. That's when he told me that they would pay off the old bill, if I would go with that one."
When a bill arrived in the mail stating that she owed $544, plus an additional $50 late fee, she realized Safeguard America didn't pay off the remaining balance with the other security alarm system.
"I'm having to pay the old company and the new one," Sims said.
Once all the fees were added up, Sims had to pay $42.38 a month to Safeguard America, with an additional service charge of $3 per quarter for 60 months. All that is in addition to the $49 a month she has to still pay her original security company.
Sims said she is not happy with Safeguard America, which has headquarters in Cromwell, Connecticut.
"I sent in a cancellation slip and everything and ask them to cancel it and they won't, " she told me with a look of disgust. "I told them to come and get the stuff out of my house and they never did that."
I spoke with Safeguard America representative Nathan in the Pensacola office. He wouldn't give me his last name. In fact, no one at the company would disclose their last names.
I asked Nathan if the practice of promising to pay off the other security company is something Safeguard America should be doing? Nathan said he terminated the salesman.
I contacted the salesman who sold the security system to Ms Sims. He told me he was never terminated. He said he quit.
He said Safeguard America took out $500 from his commission check to pay off the remaining balance to Sims' other security service. He said when he found out Safeguard America wasn't paying off the balances for his customers, he resigned.
A check with the Better Business Bureau in Connecticut reveals that the BBB has given Safeguard America an "F" rating. There were 457 complaints filed against the business. And Safeguard America, also known as Safe Home Security, Inc., failed to respond to 151 complaints.
The BBB in North Florida is warning customers to be wary of salesmen who are going door-to-door offering home security systems at no cost.
The business' website includes BBB's old logo and claims that Safeguard America is a Better Business Bureau member. They are not.
If anyone has a complaint against Safeguard America Security Services, you can call the Mississippi Better Business Bureau at (601) 707-0960.