Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Suspicious Solicitor Becomes Rude At Neighbors' Door, And Seattle Police's Solicitor Tips

A neighbor sent us this email recently:
We live in the 3800 block of 45th Avenue NE and on Saturday, September 7, we had a solicitor arrive at the door, who said he was from "D&T" selling magazine. He was a male, 5'7", black, khakis, button down shirt.
Upon opening the door, his first comment to my wife was "Oh, that was really quick, you must have run to the door!"
My wife said we are not interested, but he said he would return later anyway.  And she requested that he please skip our house, and he said "Who are you to ask me to do that, you are not the lady of the house?"
He also turned up at 7pm on a Saturday night, which is all a bit strange.
I looked up "D&T Seattle" on-line, and found this entry on the West Seattle blog from a few years ago. Residents there apparently felt harassed as well, one even called the cops.
If other residents have also complained of this, I'd certainly be curious to know.
D & T Connections,  a subagent of SubscriptionAgency.com based out of Georgia,  says on their website that the company "was established for the purpose of teaching people who are highly motivated, but lacking resources and direction to achieve their goals."
Here are just a few of the links found on-line about the serious problems with these solicitors nationwide: 
CBS News - D&T Connection Is An Accredited SubAgent, But I Still Don't Like Its Tactics
Houston Press - Magazine Crews Stabbin' Its Way Through Dallas
Lexington Police Warn Of Door to Door Magazine Sales Scam
In Laurelhurst, there have been many magazine solicitors over the summers and many complaints from residents:
More on Magazine Solicitors
Crimewatch: Magazine Solicitors
Susipcious Solicitors Near NE 45th Street
Suspicious Scam Artists
Solicitor Practicing Social Skills

The Seattle Police Department advises residents to not open their doors to solicitors, but to say "No thank you" through the door.

SPD also says:
Most of these solicitors are not legitimate. These solicitors are scammers and give very little, if any, of the money they collect to the charity or organization they claim to represent.If a solicitor comes to your door, do not open it but tell them through the closed door "NOT INTERESTED." If you do answer the door and the solicitor becomes angry, threatening or verbally abusive, call 911."

Here are more  tips give by Terri Johnson, Seattle Police North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator:  

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

we saw this guy too, on 47th ave. ne and 36th. we called the off duty cop but he didnt answer. I thought it was strange when he saw me through the window from the street, then skipped our house. He knocked on our neighbors door and snooped around a bit on the porch before going across the street.