How to Handle Door-to-Door Solicitors

The Summer months are upon us, which means those pesky door-to-door solicitors will be creeping back onto the streets. Whether they’re offering pesticide services, selling home security, or raising money for charities, they are the worst interruption to a peaceful summer day.

We’ve prepared some simple responses to help you handle these door-to-door solicitors so you can save time and headaches this summer.

For Protect America customers:

Protect America will never send a representative to your door without setting an appointment with you. If someone shows up on your front step claiming to be from Protect America or that their company has taken over or merged with Protect America, they are lying. Close the door and report the incident to us immediately if this happens.

If you haven’t already, put up a NO SOLICITING sign near your front door. This is a simple and effective way to deter most door-to-door solicitors. However, determined or desperate salespeople may still choose not to respect this message and continue to knock on your door. Check with your local municipality to see what anti-solicitation ordinances can be enforced if your signs are not respected.

You are not obligated to open your door for everyone who shows up on your doorstep. If you know you are not expecting anyone and do not recognize the person on your front porch, you are allowed to keep the door closed. Let them know through the door that you are not interested and let them find their own way off your property.

If you are interested in talking to the solicitor, it is important to stay cautious. Be wary of any solicitor who does is not visibly display a company logo or ID badge. Many scammers put great effort into impersonating company representatives, so even if you recognize the company, don’t pour all of your trust in this stranger. If you have not made an appointment or been alerted by your company that a representative would be visiting you, it is very unlikely that they would just send someone to show up at your door, hoping you’re home.

Never invite them inside your home. They may pressure you because a position inside the house makes it harder to get them to leave. Some solicitors may claim to be a technician who needs to “upgrade” or “inspect” your system. Never let someone who just showed up to your door tamper with your security system.

Don’t fall for their pressure tactics. There is no offer that is “today, at your doorstep, only.” You will likely be able to find similar offers directly from the company elsewhere after doing a little digging. On-the-spot decisions are almost never wise, so give yourself the time to think it over and do your own research. Try not to sign anything at all, and never sign anything that you have not read carefully.

By law, door-to-door sellers are required to give you (and inform you of) a 3-day right to cancel for any sale made at your home on the spot. It’s called the Cooling-Off Period, and it covers your right to cancel for a full refund until the midnight of the third business day after the sale.

Good salesmen are reassuring and validating; they don’t need to use pressure tactics to try to guilt or trick you into signing a contract. If the solicitor is being aggressive or threatening, just close the door. Call the police if they refuse to leave or if you feel unsafe.