How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off by an Alarm Company

Security firm CEO recommends sticking with local businesses recommended by people you trust, such as neighbors.

A woman looks at her phone with an alarmed look on her face while sitting on her sofa.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I’m often asked, “How do you get your story ideas?” Sometimes, as with 80-year-old “Mr. Albert,” they literally walk in the front door. Anyone who has an alarm system for their home or office will find his story valuable.

Mr. Albert is no more than five feet tall, hunched over, walks with a cane and has a support dog whose vest reads, “My name is Spot.” Mr. Albert is terribly hard of hearing and nearly every time he’s spoken to says, “What? Say that louder!” If he had not stepped into my office, he could have become a victim of an alarm company’s illegal use of an automatically renewing contract provision, as I am certain many of its customers have been.

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H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Author of "You and the Law"

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. "I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift."