You know the routine…
You’re just sitting down to dinner or a few minutes of TV when there’s a knock at the door. There you’re met by some kid that you’ve never seen before, who claims to be your “neighbor’s son on the other block” (whom you’ve never heard of before either,) and he is selling magazines for his school to earn money for a trip to Disneyland, Europe, etc…. He might even have an official looking piece of paper that says it’s ok for him to be selling these great magazines to you. And it’s not just magazines…it’s alarm systems, or a political cause. Does this ring a bell? (sorry for the bad pun…)
Pass, or Pay…
At some point in the conversation with this older-than-high-school looking kid, you’re going to have to make a decision: Buy what they’re selling, or potentially face an increasingly aggressive sales pitch. If you decide to pass, sometimes a simple “No” does the trick — other times the situation can get downright uncomfortable, especially if you’re someone who’s not big on confrontation.
A Nuisance, or Worse?
Most encounters with door-to-door solicitors are benign — best case, it’s just a pain in the rear having your dinner interrupted and having to listen to a sales pitch that you didn’t ask for in the first place. But recently there has been an increase in suspicious and illegal activity by people posing as legitimate solicitors. Just check out this recent account of an incident that just happened in White Oaks, as described by a neighbor who witnessed it:
Click here: Solicitor Alert in White Oaks
So this raises a big security concern: Are these people truly selling things? Or, are they simply using this as an opportunity to gain information about what possessions you have in your house, who is usually in your home, and what hours you’re normally gone? Given the state of the economy and how much people need quick cash, that’s not too far-fetched.
Time to Pull the Plug?
I know it’s not fair to lump all solicitors into this category. The Girl Scouts of America and our local elementary schools rely heavily on going through the neighborhoods to raise funds. Believe me, when I know it’s the time of year for Girl Scout Cookies I already have the check filled out. But when I see the aforementioned “neighborhood kid” jump into a white panel van at the corner (with a group of other “local” kids that I’ve never seen before,) the legitimacy of some of these operations should certainly be called into question.
Is door-to-door selling even relevant any more? Now that everything you need to buy is on the internet, most people already know where to find what they need to buy, or what charities they’re going to give to.
So, some questions to consider:
Are tighter restraints needed to control soliciting?
Should residential soliciting be totally banned in San Carlos?
Or, is it not an issue to be concerned with?
I’d love to hear your opinion on this one…
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