As temperatures warm and pests become more active, another phenomena ensues in the spring—door-to-door sales reps.
Some pest control companies use door-to-door sales reps who employ pressure tactics to persuade you to sign a contract on the spot, while others make promises they never intend to keep—all ploys to close the sale. So, who do you trust? How do you ensure the services you pay for are the services you’re going to receive?
What to Know Before You Open the Door
If you do choose to open your door, please keep these door-to-door sales tactics at the forefront of your mind:
- Don’t be pressured into an on-the-spot decision. For some door-to-door sales reps, it’s about quantity, not quality. Their main focus is to “close” the sale. They are not responsible for the quality of the customer experience afterward.
- Don’t sign a contract that isn’t fully explained, or be swayed by discounts applicable “only if you sign now.” An abbreviated contract, or one that isn’t fully explained, or that applies a discount only if the contract is signed immediately, are red flags.
- “Your neighbors switched to our service, you should too.” This is a sales tactic that has been repeatedly reported to us by confused customers. The sales rep will present them with a sheet of names and addresses of people in the neighborhood, claiming they switched service providers. Upon following up, they discover their neighbors didn’t change providers at all. Give yourself time to check back with your neighbors.
With many of our customers being referred to us by their neighbors, we take these sort of unethical door-to-door sales tactics seriously. Calls from customers letting us know they’ve received a solicitation have risen dramatically within the past two years. Be wary of signing a contract on the spot. Politely ask for the salesperson’s information and let them know you need some time to review the offer, and that you will be checking back with your neighbors. A representative for an honest company will have no issue with this response and should graciously supply you with any additional information you need to make an informed decision.
Online Service Reviews
Take some time to read about other’s experiences on review sites like Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List. Here are some tips on what to look for when reading a review:
- Check out the reviewer. Do they have a history of writing similar reviews for other companies? They may be paid.
- Be wary of similar wording in reviews. Wording that speaks directly to what the company advertises, or multiple reviews with the same phrasing, are probably not legitimate.
- Read multiple reviews on several sites. A high percentage of good reviews, sprinkled with a few negative ones, usually indicates legitimate reviews. After all, even the best companies will fail sometimes.
- Read responses. How do they respond to negative reviews? Do they try to resolve the issue?
- Extremely positive reviews may be paid for. Fakespot.com is a great place to see who some of the offenders are.
Connect with Online Neighborhood Groups
Compare experiences with other homeowners and check references by connecting online with neighborhood groups such as Nextdoor, local associations, city websites and Facebook.
What You Should Expect
Regardless of how the pest control service is sold, homeowners should expect a reliable and knowledgeable pest control company that guarantees their work, while providing exceptional industry expertise with proven results.