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  Protecting the Privacy of New Home Buyers
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posted
Under the guise of "helping an inspector to grow his business", alarm systems salesmen have involved themselves with the home inspection industry in such a way that home buyers who hire a home inspector in certain instances have, at the same time, opened their doors to every provider of home alarm systems and a variety of sales tactics --- some legitimate, some not --- to sell them a home alarm system.

Inspectors who enter into certain contracts with certain vendors for products and services that - on their surfaces - appear to be inspection related are required to add language to their inspection agreements that, when signing the inspection agreement to hire the inspector to inspect a home, home buyers are also waiving their rights of protection from any "no call list" they may have enrolled in to protect themselves from unwanted solicitations. Their home inspection agreements are also, under this language, blanket permission for their personal information to be provided to unnamed third parties of infinite number for unnamed purposes, indefinitely.

In exchange for this, home inspectors are being offered compensation in various forms. In all cases, inspectors are allowed to access products and services that appear to be inspection related at deep discounts in exchange for meeting or exceeding quotas for minimum numbers of clients and private data that the inspector provides to alarm systems lead brokers. In some cases, inspectors are paid cash kickbacks (referred to as "commissions") when the home buyer purchases an alarm system from one of the providers.

Some vendors of various home inspection products and services are now linking together and linking themselves directly to alarm systems salesmen so that private information from participating inspectors can be immediately gleaned from home inspection reports, inspector scheduling systems and various other products and sold directly to alarm systems lead brokers.

Attorney generals offices and BBBs from around the country are being buried in complaints from home owners who are on "no call lists" but still being hounded by telemarketers from alarm systems sales companies and door-to-door salesmen using a variety of deceptive means to install these systems. When it becomes public knowledge that home inspectors are their main sources for contact information and for the means of providing the "no call list" override --- the home inspection industry is destined to bear the same stigma and bad will being generated.

There is a need at the state level to require licensed home inspectors to be prohibited from providing private information about their clients to any third party for any type of compensation, directly or indirectly.

There should be no contract language in an inspection agreement that allows anyone outside of the real estate transaction to have access to any information that the inspector gathers in the course of serving his client.

There should be no contract language in an inspection agreement that allows any unnamed third party the ability to telemarket or otherwise solicit the home inspector's client or that can be construed to override any "no call list" that the client has used to protect himself from solicitors.

Home inspectors should be prohibited from contracting with any company or vendor that purchases or otherwise uses or transfers his clients' personal information to someone else for the purpose of selling home alarm systems.

This needs to be done immediately to protect the consumer as well as the real estate industry.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Where did you get this information? Or does this just proceed some spam?
 
Posts: 7021 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is available through several sources. Here is a link to a video that explains how some home inspectors are paid in product, services and/or cash in exchange for personal information.

http://www.alarmleadprogram.com/
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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Calls to the general public who are on the do not call list, can cost the uninviited caller hundreds of dollars in our state of Florida. If your state is lax in the law, call your congressperson, represemtative or write
them.

It is against the law in our state for kickbacks and that includes licensed home inspection companies, which profession is now governed by our state. Check your state.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
 
Posts: 9253 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is how some home inspectors are helping the alarm systems salesmen get around the "no call" list.

The following language is required by the alarm system company they contract with to be added to the inspection agreement that the home buyer signs when they hire the inspector:

"Your inspector may have an affiliation with a third party service provider ("TPSP") in order to offer you additional value-added services. By entering into this agreement you (a) authorize your inspector to provide your contact information (including telephone number) to the TPSP, (b) waive and release any restrictions that may prevent the TPSP from contacting you (including by telephone), and (c) authorize the TPSP to contact you (including by telephone) regarding special home alarm system offers."

As you can see, when the home buyer hires the inspector ... they also give permission to whomever he sells their information to, to bypass the "no call" list with this signed waiver.

Here is a link to the site where this language can be found and where some home inspectors sign up to provide private information about home buyers to these salesmen in exchange for various forms of compensation.

http://www.alarmleadsprogram.net/

For the most part, the national home inspector associations have turned a blind eye to this practice ... acknowledging that it is not to be encouraged but doing nothing about cleaning it up. Inspectors have been using this to supplement their incomes during the slow market, apparently, and no one wants to give up the cash they say they derive from it.

I think it will take having a few people bring this up with local legislators. In the mean time, home buyers and their agents need to know that this activity exists and that they need to read the inspection agreement very carefully and refuse to sign it when it contains such language.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jim1954,
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We would be foolish to click on an unknown website posted by a first time poster.

If this is a legitimate concern you should be able to give several known websites that deal with this.
 
Posts: 7021 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am providing the information. I have provided links to support the information that I have provided. You are free to accept or reject what you wish.

Hopefully, when you choose to hire a home inspector you will carefully read his agreement before signing it whether you believe me or not.

In fact, as long as you approach the agreement and look for this language with the same skepticism that you are approaching my post ... you will do fine.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jim1954,
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Once again someone has pointed out why buyers need to have a professional agent on their side working for them to help them avoid home inspectors such as the OP mentions.

If any home inspector I have on my list of suggestions were to ever pull anything as mentioned in the OP's long winded narrative, he would be off my list.

Also, as REL pointed out anything unethical could cause the inspector to lose his license. Good and honest home inspectors depend on the good will and a good reputation with professional Realtors. Whenever we are together talking shop we will discuss the good, the bad and the ugly.


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3506 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of the ways to identify a home inspector who might be selling your information to a telemarketing firm or others is to look for this wording, or similar wording, in the contract that he asks you to sign with him:

"Your inspector may have an affiliation with a third party service provider ("TPSP") in order to offer you additional value- added services. By entering into this agreement you (a) authorize your inspector to provide your contact information (including telephone number) to the TPSP, (b) waive and release any restrictions that may prevent the TPSP from contacting you (including by telephone), and (c) authorize the TPSP to contact you (including by telephone) regarding special home alarm system offers."

As you can see, this wording gives an unnamed entity or entities unlimited access to your private information and "waives" any rights that you may have under any "no call" lists you may be on.

Carefully consider this before signing any such document.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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