Friday, February 10, 2012

Solicitor Practicing "Social Skills" Seen and Helpful Solicitor Tips From Seattle Police Department

The solicitor who says he is practicing social skills is once again in the neighborhood.

We posted about this in April and also in June of last year. They have, in the past, also been seen in other neighborhoods including Roosevelt, Maple Leaf , Wallingford and Ballard.

A reader sent us this information:

I just wanted to let you know that yesterday afternoon we had another visit from someone going door to door to "practice their social skills."  This was on the 5100 block of 45th Avenue NE. 

As in the past, this person had no identification or literature identifying what organization he claimed to be working with.  Our dog alerted my wife, who then noticed him in our driveway checking the garage door.  He then came to the door and professed to have "made a mistake." 

Terri Johnson, Seattle Police North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator, gives these tips:

Homeowners may consider posting a "No Solicitor" sign indicating “No agents,” “No peddlers,” or “No Solicitors.” In Seattle, it is unlawful for any residential seller to attempt to gain admittance for the purpose of selling at any residence displaying one of these signs.

Before opening your door look for proper identification. In Seattle, all door-to-door sellers must display the residential sales identification which includes the seller’s photograph on their outer clothing, along with the name of the licensee as well as the agent, and the type of product or service being sold. The license is only valid for the product or service specified. If you have any questions about whether a company is properly licensed, call the City of Seattle’s Office of Revenue & Consumer Affairs 206-684-8136.

Acknowledge the knock since ignoring it may lead to an attempted burglary. It is preferable to speak to strangers through your door.

Each residential seller is required to immediately upon contacting the prospective buyer, disclose their name, company and the product or service represented.

If requested to do so, the seller must leave the premises immediately. If the individual does not leave, or if an attempt to gain access is ade by asking to use the bathroom, the phone or get a drink of water, refuse the request and ask the individual to leave. If you feel intimidated, pressured, or threatened at any time, call 911.

It is safer not to allow the salesperson into your home.

Don't pay immediately or give the salesperson cash or a check, as it may be pocketed and you will never receive the product ordered. Instead, find out from the seller how you can order directly from he company or receive the bill upon receipt of the product/service. If the salesperson is concerned about losing their commission for the sale, offer to provide their name when placing your order.

In Seattle, if you make a purchase, the salesperson must tell you of your right to cancel the order and the contract must include a statement regarding the right to cancel as well as a notice informing the buyer of their right to cancel the order any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of the transaction. A completed Notice of Canelllation (in duplicate) must be provided to the purchaser at the time they purchase from the seller. You do not need to provide a reason for canceling the order.

For each sale of ten dollars or more, the seller must provide a receipt or contract to the purchaser. Do not leave any blanks on your contract. Be sure the contract or receipt is dated and that it states the terms of the transaction, the amount of payment made and the name and address of the residential seller.

Never be afraid to say “NO!” to high pressure tactics and end your conversation with the salesperson.

Avoid making an immediate purchase in order to receive a “free gift.”

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information or questions, Terri can be reached at 206-684-7711.


Anonymous said...

Do they have to be selling something to be required to obey the "no soliciting" sign? I've had several people say "I'm not selling anything" and proceed to talk to me about their thing despite the no soliciting notice. I figure they are soliciting my TIME.

Anonymous said...

Came to my house as well. My dog started barking and I looked out my window and there was someone at the garage door. (I think we was looking at the lock) He then came around to the front door and knocked. When I told him we did not take solicitations he said he was not a solicitor. He was part of a program. I told him to give me some identification and he said he did not need that for this program. I told him to leave and my dog was barking very loudly (he was very afraid of her) and left.