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Unfortunately, door-knocking (door-to-door solicitation) is a prevalent and problematic part of the home security industry. You may have even experienced it firsthand, a seller on your doorstep trying to push their home alarm system onto you with an offer that you can’t refuse. Sometimes they’re making a legit case, but too often they’re just trying to part you from your money through a deceitful scam.
The scamming in particular has become such a problem that an industry giant like ADT has had to step in. Last year, they began offering awards up to $25,000 for proof of a company training its sales teams to be deceitful. Essentially, home security doorknockers are not who you want to see on your doorstep.
Frontpoint doesn't employ doorknockers, and we want to make sure you’re ready to handle them should you have to interact with any (in cordial fashion, of course). And with the warmer, prime door-knocking seasons upon us, there’s no better time to tell you how to notice and turn away these door-to-door sellers. Here are a few tips:
- Put up a “No Soliciting” sign. Send the message right away that you want to be left alone. Most salespeople will be turned away by the sign, but others may not see it or just choose to ignore completely. Keep in mind that while salespeople have a constitutional right to be in your neighborhood, they must obey your local laws and ordinances regarding solicitation.
- Do not invite a solicitor inside your home. In the event that you answer the door and are met by a seller, make sure to never invite them in. It’s much easier and safer to say no to someone on your doorstep than it is to get someone to leave once they’re inside.
- Ask what company is being represented. Feel free to call a company to confirm that they have a representative in the area, or if they even have representatives to begin with - some companies, like Frontpoint, do not employ doorknockers, so you'll know if they're lying right from the start.
- Ask for a permit. The majority of municipalities require door-to-door sales agents to have permits. Ask for a permit and a photo ID.
- Let them know you're not interested. When all else fails, firmly tell them you're not interested. This can be more difficult than it sounds, but don't be afraid to stand your ground. Edit 5/15/15: As some commenters mentioned below, you do want to make sure that you DO answer the door. Some doorknockers may be checking to see if anyone is home and may potentially target your house should no one answer.
Laws regulating door-to-door solicitation vary from state to state; you can find your state’s specific rules here.
Hopefully, you won’t have to have any face-to-face interactions with doorknockers, but in case you do, use these tips to avoid being scammed.
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