The JHAA discourages solicitation in our neighborhood. We encourage our residents not to patronize door-to-door salespeople.
While this profession may bring back memories to some people of a kinder, gentler time in our history, the reality is that it is a very different world today. While some solicitors may be legitimate, others may be trying to sucker you into a scam, and some may even be would-be burglars, casing your home to see when you are there, to determine many people live there, and what kinds of valuables they might be able to spot through your partly-opened front door as you speak to them.
In a worst case scenario, someone may try to force their way into your home when you open the door. This warning is not meant to needlessly frighten our residents, but you should always exercise caution and consider your safety first, and protection for your pocketbook (from scams) a close second.
Door-to-door sales are illegal unless the person is carrying a currently-valid solicitor’s license with them. And even when a salesperson has a solicitor’s license to show you, you have no way of knowing if it is legitimate or faked, and most importantly, no guarantee that the company and its products are reliable.
The best advice is to:
Never open your door for these people in the first place,
NEVER, EVER make a decision or sign anything on the spur of the moment.
If you really want to speak to these people, and if you sincerely have an interest in the company and its products or services, this is recommended:
- Ask the solicitor for a website address, mailing address and phone number. Do not open your door, just have them tell you the information through the door, or tell them to leave a business card on your doorstep. If they can’t provide at least two of these three vital bits of company contact information, consider this suspect.
- Tell the solicitor that you will think about it and get back to them if you are interested.
- Talk to other people about the company. See if anyone you know has heard of them.
- Research the company on the internet – not just the company website they gave you, but also search for discussion forums where former customers have posted their experiences with the company. Simply enter the company name into any search engine (like Google.com) and if there are web postings from pleased or unhappy customers, those will come up in the search results.
- Check the company out on the Better Business Bureau website (bbb.org).
- Post a question on our email forum if you like, and ask if anyone in the neighborhood has ever heard of the company or used them before.
It is recommended that you follow this advice before you give your money to anyone. This kind of research can take days or weeks, so never agree to a purchase, a contract, a commitment or anything else on the spot.
Many solicitors will pressure you to close the deal right then and there, and that is a good warning sign that they are not a reputable company. They know that if you have the chance to check them out, you will likely find a lot of people saying bad things about them.
In the end, we strongly encourage you NOT to patronize solicitors – don’t talk to them at all. Then hopefully, word will get around that Jackson Heights is a waste of time for solicitors.
IMPORTANT RELATED LINK: Squelch Phone Solicitation