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Gosh, Now I Feel Really Safe

, , , , , , | Working | October 11, 2021

This is during the beginnings of the 2020 health crisis. I decide to take advantage of the low interest rates for mortgages and buy my first home. After searching for a few months, I claim one that’s in my budget before it’s even put on the market and move in on June 1st.

I am a single female in my late twenties. I am also formally diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and am an introvert, making it difficult for me to talk to strangers. In addition, I was raised by a mostly traditional Southern family, meaning it has been wired into me since birth to be polite and courteous. All of these factors combined mean I have a difficult time being rude to people and telling them “no.”

When I first move into my new home, I notice there is an old security system on the wall. I don’t know if it belongs to the previous owners or the owners before them, but I don’t think much of it at the time.

A few weeks after moving in, I get a knock on my door at 7:00 pm. My door does not have a peephole and I don’t have a doorbell camera, so I open the door to see who it is. Standing in front of me is a man who is dress in business casual and has a lanyard around his neck with a badge. He is also not wearing a mask. 

Man: “Hello, I am [Man], the Relocation Manager for [Security System] here to talk to you about our services. I’m sure they mentioned during your closing process that we would come by to visit.”

Me: *Flustered and confused* “No, they didn’t. Neither my agent nor lawyer mentioned you.”

Man: “Oh, well, they should have. Anyway, I’m here to offer you some promotions we have, since you fall into a special group.”

Me: “Oh, okay.”

Man: “Do you mind if I come in?”

I’m feeling uncomfortable, but Southern courtesy kicks in.

Me: “Sure.”

The man comes into my house and notices the old system on the wall.

Man: “Oh, this is old. We’ll be sure to replace that with a more up-to-date model with a touchscreen.”

I remain silent for the most part, keeping my distance and staying behind him, so my back is never turned to him.

Man: “Do you mind if I see your backyard?”

I point him in the general direction where the hall is, following behind him. My back door is located in my office. He goes into my office, opens the back door, and looks around.

Man: “Nice privacy fence you have there. Criminals also like it because he provides them privacy, too.”

I recognize he’s trying to scare me, and it’s making me annoyed. We head back into the living room where he casually sits on my couch.

Man: “Aren’t you going to come and sit down?”

I’m still keeping my distance, and I’m getting even more annoyed.

Me: “No, I’m fine standing.

Man: “Well, since you just moved, we are offering you a special deal for new homeowners. We can waive all the installation fees and fees associated with new accounts.”

Me: “And how much would the monthly fee be for monitoring?”

Man: “Our lowest package starts at $63.99 a month.”

Me: “I haven’t even been in my house for a month, so I’m not sure if I can afford that.”

Man: “Sure, you can.”

Me: “I would rather wait instead of signing up immediately.”

Man: “Oh, this promotion is only for a certain amount of time, so you need to sign up today.”

Me: “But I don’t know if I can afford it. I need to think about it.”

He pulls out a tablet and proceeds to ask me my name, number, and email. I think he’s taking my contact information to contact me later. Then, he asks for my social security number.

Me: “I don’t feel comfortable telling you that.”

Man: “Don’t worry; it’s encrypted.”

Me: “I still don’t want to tell you.”

He hands me the tablet for me to put it in manually. I start doing so, seeing that it does the stars as I put in the numbers, showing it is encrypted. I hand the tablet back to him.

Man: “And what’s a good card number that I can put in?”

It finally clicks.

Me: “Wait, are you signing me up for the service?”

The man nods.

Me: *Starting to get angry* “I told you I needed time to think about it. I’m not signing up for a service today. I don’t know what my monthly budget will look like yet.”

Man: “Well, your bank wouldn’t have agreed to give you a mortgage if you couldn’t afford it.”

Me: “I don’t know even know who you are. For all I know, you could be lying to me about working with [Security System].”

Man: “My work badge is right here with my name if you want to take a picture.”

I should have done that, looking back.

Me: “I still need time.”

Man: “Well, I can extend the offer a couple of days. Is that enough?”

Me: “No, I would need a couple of months.”

Man: “I can’t do that. The offer is time-sensitive.”

Me: “I’m not signing up for a service when I don’t know what my monthly budget looks like.”

The man stares at me for a few seconds.

Man: “I see you are getting annoyed, so I’m going to leave.”

Me: “Yes, please.”

After he left, I sat on my couch, shaken and scared by the whole event. I know what I did was stupid. I could have gotten hurt or had my information stolen. After I calmed myself down, I immediately bought a different security system out of spite. I tried reporting the guy but found that [Security System]’s customer service is basically nonexistent.

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