Summer conjures up images of family time outdoors and a more relaxed pace to life and leisure. We tend to see more of our neighbors, and it usually means more visitors to the neighborhood, too. Activity from door-to-door salespeople also typically increases during summer.
And while most salespeople are well-intentioned, there may be door-knockers who are willing to use less than admirable sales tactics. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe and help avoid falling victim to scams.
Know the Law
In many states door knocking is limited to specific times of the day. Your local municipality may also have laws pertaining to the timing of visits and door to door etiquette. Check out your local municipality website for detailed information.
Ask for Identification
Any legitimate salesperson should have identification in plain view with their name as well as the company they represent. Ask to see identification before you open the door. If you still aren’t sure, then simply tell the representative that you are not interested.
Don’t Succumb to Pressure
A good salesperson will be encouraging and engaging, but a questionable door knocker may turn the pressure on high from the start until you agree to purchase. Claims of a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, or that the supply is very limited so you must act now, often signal an unscrupulous salesperson. Any statements that make you feel uncomfortable or pressured are also an indication that you should not conduct business with this company or its representative. If this is the case, it’s best to remove yourself from the discussion and ask them to leave your property.
Charitable Claims Aren’t Always True
Supporting a charity can make a positive contribution to your community. However, there are people who use charitable organizations as a way to collect money from trusting people and then use it for personal gain. Rather than contributing to a charity at the time of solicitation, ask for information about the organization so you can research it when you have time. Most major charitable organizations enable online donations, so you can contribute when it’s convenient for you. A legitimate charity would certainly respect an individual’s desire to make an informed decision about their donation.
Be Mindful of Signing Contracts in a Hurry
If the product or service is interesting or valuable to you, but you’re not yet ready to purchase, it’s acceptable to take a copy of the contract for review. For home security companies, door-to-door sales agents may make false claims about your existing security system. Keep your existing security system agreement in mind and be aware of pressure from competing companies. It’s also very important to remember that it is your right to nullify any contract signed through a door-to-door transaction as long as you do so within three days of signing.
When in Doubt, Keep the Door Closed
If you do not feel comfortable opening your door, then simply do not answer it. It’s certainly your call if and when to answer your door to a stranger. If it’s important, they will leave information behind for you to consider when you have time.
At My Alarm Center, our purpose is to keep you and your home safe, from coast to coast.