Monday, November 17, 2014

ADT Securtiy Solicitors Combing Streets And What Police Say You Should Do When One Knocks

The Laurelhurst Blog Staff has received many emails asking about the solicitors carrying ADT signs that have been recently walking around the neighborhood.

One resident on 46th Avenue NE near the school said he had two different ADT solicitors visit him within two hours.

Here are some emails received:
We encountered a young woman  carrying an ADT sign walking down the street near Laurelhurst Elementary School. We asked her if she was soliciting and she said she wasn't and didn't know what that meant. We told her that she had to have ID, which she showed us.  We also asked for a phone number and brochure for ADT which she said she didn't have. She added that she didn't know the number to call ADT but had her "manager's phone number" who she started to call , who was most likely jus a few blocks away. We also told her that it is not allowed to knock on doors where there is a "No soliciting "sign and she said she didn't know that and didn't care.
Just wanted to alert you all to a suspicious man who came to our door to see if we were interested in an alarm system.  He was carrying an ADT sign that he looked to have pulled out of someone's yard.  My husband told him we weren't interested.  Seemed like he might have been checking to see if anyone home and if we have a security system.  We called the non-emergency police line to file a report. 
An ADT Security guy came to my house.  I took his flier and did some follow-up research to see if he was legit. I called their number and received good information from the woman who answered.  Based on the website, it does appear to be a legitimate business. Not to say that means the solicitors are totally legitimate, but it is at least a real company.  
The ADT sales guy that came to our house was on the scruffy side and not particularly professional. I'm guessing that they scrambled to get sales teams out to NE Seattle to take advantage of residents' concerns sparked by the Halloween break-ins. 
A lot of people who do this sort of door to door soliciting are, in fact, young men with some kind of criminal record - simply because they have so much difficulty finding other jobs. The pay is low (and infrequent), and of course they are not exactly 'polished' salespeople, so they will often be exceptionally 'pushy.' Good to send them on their way as fast as one is able to (politely) do.

The Laurelhurst Blog has published many posts on suspicious solicitor over the years.  They show up in a variety of ways - some saying they are practicing their social skills, same ones reportedly also visiting other nearby neighborhoods, others claiming to sell magazine subscriptions, and another person saying he is a janitor at whatever business is nearest the home he is visiting and saying he needs money as he is locked out.
Seattle Police regularly sends out notifications about your rights when a solicitor comes to your door.

SPD advises residents to not open their doors to solicitors, but to say "No thank you" or "Not interested" 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 you do answer the door and the solicitor becomes angry, threatening or verbally abusive, call 911.

SDP also says before opening the door, check to see that the solicitor is displaying proper identification mandatory in Seattle, showing the residential sales identification which number, seller’s photograph, along with the name of the licensee as well as the agent, and the type of product or service being sold. This must be on the outside of their clothing so it is easily viewable.

The license is only valid for the product or service specified. For questions about whether a company is properly licensed, call the City of Seattle’s Office of Revenue & Consumer Affairs 206-684-8136. 

Here more  tips give by the Seattle Police Precinct Crime Prevention Team:

If you are displaying a "No Solicitor" sign 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.

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.

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