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Door-to-Door Solicitors-- The Risks and the Rules

Door-to-Door solicitors are more than a nuisance. They are often engaged in illegal activity. What are the rules, and what are the proper responses?

The days of door-to-door solicitors are a thing of the past -- at least as far as opening the door to them.

Back in the day -- actually my parents day -- it was not uncommon for individuals, mostly males, to travel around the country selling things. The Fuller Brush Man immediately comes to mind. We lived in a very rural area, dirt road, farms, a few houses, and a lot of trees -- Black Walnut, Red Oaks, Buckeyes. We were bused 15 miles to school. The nearest market was a good five mile walk. If an individual came around selling something to us, they were usually lost. Occasionally, what we now call a transient, then termed a Bum, passed by looking for odd jobs -- painting, yard work, tree trimming. My mom would feed them on the back porch then send them on their way. Those days are long gone -- by about sixty years.

It is just too dangerous these days to risk that kind of exposure to personal assault merely because you have opened your door to a stranger. Some individuals may feel this is too harsh a treatment for a person just trying to make a living, eking out a meager existence. Others may think it borders on unfounded paranoia. The preface page of my first novel declares "Paranoid But Alive." The novel is based upon fact, and it deals with the 1980's cocaine pipeline snaking its way from South America, through Central America and Mexico, and ending in sunny California -- Los Angeles in fact. It helped earned me a Master's Degree, and it provided me with a heightened sense of alertness.

Fact -- there are bad guys out there who make a business out of doing bad things to good people. On March 22, 2012 in Glendale, police officers arrested four door-to-door solicitors for selling magazines without the proper city-issued permits. One individual was from Fullerton. One individual was from Arkansas. One individual was from Phoenix Lake. Only one of the salesmen was from Los Angeles. He was arrested later that day separate from the first three men. Their ruse was simple. Sell a magazine subscription and sweeten the deal by offering the buyer a chance to win a trip to Italy. Basically, it is the old dangle the bait and wait for the fish to rise MO. Or as Barnum and Bailey stated -- "There's a sucker born every minute." The arrested men stated that people paid in cash, and the magazines would be donated to local hospitals. Whether this turns out to be true or not, I guess time will tell. I also hear Rome is divine this time of year.

Unfortunately, for these four intrepid salesmen, not all the residents of North Glendale were biting that day. An alert citizen called the police. This allowed the Glendale Police Department to also go fishing. They call their secret bait "probable cause," and it gives police the right to further investigate to see if a crime has been or is being committed. Glendale PD's catch for the day is four arrests. One salesman is carrying an illegal butterfly knife. He is arrested for that. One man is on probation for robbery. He also has an outstanding arrest warrant from San Jose. The third man gives police a false name. This is a crime. Actually this is a stupid crime. He is arrested for that. In the police business, it's called "felony stupid." He is also arrested for selling magazines without a permit. The fourth man, arrested later that day, is also nabbed for the permit violation. He is on probation for grand theft. He has two outstanding warrants -- one traffic related and one for failure to appear in court. Other than that -- these gentlemen are apparently outstanding citizens.

Now knowing what you do -- would you open your door to them? And that is exactly the problem. People you do not know are knocking at your door. They are strangers. Common sense dictates you do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk by opening the door. It is just too risky. Unless the product is in front of your eyes, open to inspection, you are not guaranteed the goods being sold to you will even be delivered as promised. More importantly, you do not actually really know who you are dealing with. In particular, what their background is, what their true intentions are, or what their present state of mind might be.

I once hired a "nice" guy in need of money to do some quick yard work. I later learned he had 13 criminal convictions, one for assault with a deadly weapon -- pled down from attempted murder! No more day laborers for me. Is everyone "bad" who comes to your door to sell you something? Of course not. But that's not the point. Exposure to unnecessary risk is the concern. How do you know what the actual risk is until you are exposed to it? You don't. So the million dollar question is: "Are you willing to take a chance with you and your family's safety for the sake of offending or not engaging in a conversation or a transaction with a complete stranger who happens to be a door-to-door salesman?" I know what my answer is.

It makes more sense to stick with traditional methods for purchasing products, and to not expose myself to unnecessary risk, or to tolerate the interruption and the irritation of being bothered at my home by a total stranger selling me something I am not initially interested in to begin with.

A case in point -- AT&T came by my house a couple of Fridays ago, just after 6 p.m. Working in my front yard, I noticed two well-dressed men canvasing the neighborhood. One man held a clipboard, checking it on occasion. The other man seemed to control which residences they door-knocked. They hopped to and skipped away from homes. I checked the street, but did not see their vehicle. They apparently were on foot for several blocks. They door-knocked on a neighbor's residence. An elderly lady, whose husband and son were both away from the house, answered the door. They conversed for awhile, and then the men departed. They stood out front and studied the clipboard. They eventually crossed the street and disappeared out of sight. I went back to work wondering what possessed this lady to open her door? Three houses on the street have been burglarized, two cars broken into, and a young man was murdered just around the corner less than three months ago while. Trust is not working in this area.

Thirty minutes later, my dogs begin barking. I look up to see the two gentlemen standing at my gate.

"Are you Gerald Elekes," the man in control asks.

"No," I respond.

I worked as a PI, and I used many ruses myself to get the information I needed to conduct a successful investigation. Citizens do not have to follow the same rules as policemen do when it comes to information gathering. That leaves a lot of wiggle room. I learned just because someone directs a question to you, there is no requirement to answer, to answer truthfully, or to provide any information whatsoever. Trust me when I say, I nailed dozens of bad people because of another person's "loose lips." I tried to view Control Man's ID. He did wear a name tag, but apparently without a photo. A logo was barely visible.

"Do you know if Gerald Elekes lives here?" was his next question.

I just stared at him as my dogs continued barking. My dogs are very well-trained. If I tell them to stop barking and retreat, they will. I do not. Control Man wants me to commit. I want to hold him off until I can determine who he is, what he wants, and if I want to trust him. Meanwhile, the dogs are doing the tough work.

"Nice dogs," says Clipboard Man as Control Man pokes around. "Our records indicate Gerald Elekes lives here. Do you know if he still lives here?" 

I just stare.

"Who are you?" Control Man stubbornly demands.

"Leave me alone," I state matter-of-fact as I turn, call the Devil Dogs "Out," and we all retreat unsolicited together. Later, I contact AT&T. It's an ordeal to get information, but I persist. I really am offended that AT&T is sending salesmen to my door. They call me trying to get me to upgrade. They send me literature trying to get me to upgrade. Now they are sending salesmen to my home trying to get me to upgrade. Just as I opt out of computer "Cookies," and I am on the "Do Not Call" tele-marketing registry for my land-line and my cell phones, I want to opt out of AT&T's door-to-door salesmen. I'm not sure what AT&T is doing is even legal in L.A. because they are selling a service door-to-door without delivering the service or product immediately. The next step is to write a letter to the City Attorney inquiring about this, but that's another blog. What I do is wade through two customer service representatives, a supervisor, a transfer to marketing -- which results in a return to the main menu, and all the button pushing that this requires to get back to a customer service representative. And then I am conveniently disconnected. Eventually, I get through to the "legal-fraud" department. I finally use the right words on AT&T's computer menu. I discover the first customer service representative misdirects me. She does confirm through her supervisor that salespeople are in the field trying to push upgraded services. She provides me a number assuring me this will take me off the contact list. She lied! It is the "Do Not Call" registry for telemarketers. I'm already on that list -- three times.

Finally, a nice AT&T guy from the Fresno office understands what I want, and he puts me on the "Do Not Contact" list. Mainly, because he understands that a salesman representing AT&T -- a total stranger to me -- with no photo identification, is bothering me at my home. 

When I ask him why they are sending out door-to-door salesmen, he states, "They send out flyers, but people just throw them away." 

Obviously AT&T thinks people are uninformed consumers and has decided to bother people at their homes in order to increase profits. This is exactly why they make fences and lockable gates. Access is everything. Don't think for a moment Home Invasion robberies do not occur. They happen more often than you think. Individuals sometimes dress as a delivery person, or even pose as meter readers. So do we live life in fear? No. However, it is essential to properly identify individuals accessing your property or attempting to make personal contact with you. It is extremely important to determine if they are legitimate and conducting proper business prior to allowing them access to your person or to your home.

How can that be accomplished? If you feel uneasy or mistrustful, a simple phone call to the business the person is representing can satisfy the identity requirement. If the person is truly legitimate and genuinely conducting business, they will not mind the wait. They do get paid by the hour. When unsure of a situation, it is best to defer to your instincts. Why are you unsure? Pay attention to the warning bells. Just because someone knocks on your door doesn't mean you are required to open it. If the matter at hand is really important, the individual will leave a card or a notice. Burglars often "recon" by door-knocking. So what to do? Do you not respond to the door-knock, and risk a break-in while you are present. Or do you respond, and let the individual know someone is at home? That's a true dilemma. And that's why they make fences and lockable gates, breed guard dogs, and manufacture guns. However, not everyone can take advantage of the above three solutions, nor do they want to. What's the solution?

Often police suggest, letting the person knocking know someone is present. However, they do not recommend opening the door to strangers. If the individual gets aggressive, or attempts to gain unlawful entry, calling 911 and retreating to a "Safe Room" is a reasonable course of action. However, a Safe Room requires a lockable door so that it provides some measure of security until police arrive. And be aware that a digitally operated phone may not operate if the electrical power is disconnected. A cell phone or an old fashioned analog type phone will still provide 911 access if the electrical power is cut. A cell phone will also provide 911 service if the phone line is cut, a digital or analog phone will not. Unfortunately, response times to calls for emergency police service are currently debatable. It all depends upon where the patrol unit is responding from and the traffic conditions; how many officers are deployed as patrol units during the shift; how many calls for emergency service there are at the time, as well as the severity of the incident being reported. 

For example, an officer-involved "shooting in progress" call will take precedent over a "theft from vehicle" call. A "suspicious person" call will be answered more slowly than a 459-burglary, "Hot Prowl" call. The "Hot Prowl' upgrades the priority of the call to Code 3  -- lights and sire n-- because a burglar is inside a residence while residents are also present, thereby increasing the danger. Chief Beck stated in October 2011 that response time to 911 calls would increase because of the release of inmates from state prisons. He expects 4,000 parolees to hit L.A. over the next three years. Forced to reassign 150 patrol officers to deal with the influx, Chief Beck believes 911 service will be negatively affected. Unless luck is on your side, I'd estimate 5-10 minutes is the wait time for a patrol unit to show up to an emergency. Whatever the outcome actually is please remember this one very important point -- help is not there...it is on it's way. Are you actually willing to risk your safety just to acknowledge and patronize a door-to-door salesman?

Under the Los Angeles Municipal Code, Chapter IV, "Public Welfare," Article 1 "Disorderly Conduct Places And Publications," the rules become clear. Under Section 41.43.1, "Door To Door Selling Or Soliciting" the LAMC Code specifically states: No person shall solicit, sell or offer to sell, demonstrate or take order for goods, wares, or any form of merchandise, by entering upon the premises of another for such purpose except in compliance with the provisions of this section. (a)"Solicitation." As used in this section, shall mean to sell or offer to sell, demonstrate or take order for goods, wares, or any form of merchandise or services. (b) No person shall enter the premise of another for the purpose of solicitation between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. of the following day. (c) Any person over the age of 16 who engages in door-to-door solicitations shall carry a form of photo identification and must present such photo identification upon request of any persons being solicited, any peace officer or other person charged with the enforcement of the laws pertaining to such solicitations. The photo identification must include the person's date of birth and be issued by a governmental agency or educational institution. Acceptable identification includes a state driver's license, state identification card, school identification card, or any government issued identification card. (d) Any person engaged in door-to-door solicitation shall present the original or a copy of the Business Tax Registration Certificate required under Los Angeles Municipal Code 21.06 upon the request of anyone being solicited, any peace officer, or other person charged with enforcement of the laws pertaining to such solicitations. (e) The provisions of this section shall not apply to vendors or solicitors who have previously been invited or requested to appear at such premises by the owner or lawful occupant thereof, or to persons making charitable solicitations in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter IV of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. With regard to door-to-door salesmen soliciting magazine subscriptions and other personal property, Article 2, "Soliciting-- Sales" Section 42.19, "Magazine Subscriptions -- Sales for Future Delivery -- Where Solicitation Prohibited" covers this.  It specifically states: (a) No person shall, on any public street, sidewalk or parkway, in this city, or in any doorway or entrance way immediately abutting thereon, solicit the sale or subscription to any magazine, periodical or other publication, or the sale of any tangible personal property for delivery at subsequent time.

In summary, LAMC permits some forms of door-to-door solicitation as long as certain guidelines are followed. The main guidelines are the possession of a proper photo ID, possession of a valid business tax license, adhering to the correct hours for sales, and presenting the photo ID and tax license when requested. No magazine sales or subscriptions, or the sale of tangible personal property, slated for future delivery are permitted. Philanthropic door-to-door solicitations are permitted. However, several guidelines must be adhered to. A "Notice of Intention" must be filed with the department -- which in this case means the LAPD. An Information Card is issued by LAPD, and it must be displayed and/or presented for examination when requested by the person being solicited from. Door-to-Door solicitation is prohibited between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. For children under 16, the hours extend from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. No child under the age of 10 shall solicit without a responsible party present 18 years or older.

The decision whether to open your door to strangers and to support door-to-door solicitors is ultimately a personal one. The information provided should give you an indication when it is appropriate to contact the police, or if you even want to. Obviously dialing 911 because a door-to-door solicitor is standing on your door step is extreme without gathering more information. However, a call to your local Senior Lead Officer for a friendly "Heads-Up" regarding a door-to-door salesperson working the area might be perfectly appropriate. In the end, the police cannot be everywhere, so the alert and the informed citizen can be the "eyes and ears" that may break-up an active burglary ring. I for one have a high fence, a locked gate, and three barking dogs. I am not opening the door for anyone but an identifiable police officer or a fireman with a big, red truck. I order magazines online. I can always get a vacuum cleaner at Target. And my philanthropic endeavors do not involve a stranger knocking on my door asking for a kindly contribution to help save the world.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gerald Elekes April 04, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Thanks for reading Mr. Najarian, and thoughtful comments. The Devil Dogs say, "Hello."
Josey Whales April 07, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Don't bother the upper ranks of the LAPD with this quality of life issue....And yes the majority of door to door sales, are just checking your home for impediments for their return when you're not at home. As for the LAPD....The LAPD is a debacle, and run by a bunch of nincompoops! So you will get what you get until the status quo in promoting these morons changes. Sorry to be the one to burden you with the truth. But the LAPD sucks to work for right now......across the lower end of the board. The LAPD management is mostly a bunch of morally bankrupt megalomaniacs, who wold have been fired in the private sector long ago. With all their fake diplomas. West Point kicked the LAPD out of it's real Leadership School, long ago, for it's lack qualified candidates. The "leaders" we were sending on a regular basis were seriously lacking of integrity, or even a foundation of aptitude. The patrol officers will try and mitigate the effects of growing crime, but don't look to the LAPD management to help or even remotely do their jobs.
Gerald Elekes April 07, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Thanks for reading and your comments. One of the reasons people should be constantly aware of their immediate surroundings, be pro-active with regard to their safety, and actively watch over other law-abiding citizens is because "P-Dog," frontline officers are just that-- a very thin line between ordinary folks and the invasion of Los Angeles by "career" criminals. Criminals who are trained in jails, in prisons, and by their Homies on the street to always be on the recon for an easy mark or a "soft" target-- scamming, capering, and always working an angle hoping to prey upon the weak and the unsuspecting for their own gain.
Gerald Elekes April 09, 2012 at 05:46 PM
True-- self-sufficency certainly starts at home. I think the "powers-that-be" in Los Angeles would be beside themselves with worry and dismay should the "citizenery," as it now stands, actually undergo a "felony" background check, partake in "certified" firearms training, educate themselves properly on "use-of-force" laws, and then responsibly and legally arm themselves for protection from hard-core criminals hell-bent on committing mayhem. No low-life gangster would actually know who is "crook bait," or who was "packing" and unreceptive to a viscious felonious assault. You'll never see CCW for anyone but the elite in LA-- it will never fly. So remember, "Lock your door, don't open it to strangers, and never cover the barrel of your weapon with your hand."
jake ackerman April 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM
This may be the single most ridiculous article I have ever read. The dirt bag author clearly lives in the ghetto, and was raised in a trailer park (by a wonderfully charitable mother who failed to convey any training, virtue or writing skills to her son). I hope this author keeps smoking his KOOL cigarettes indoors on his hair covered futon, and feel bad for his dogs being killed by cancer due to this guys ”world revolves around me” illness. Your article offered me the reader no solutions, it inspired nothing but fear-of being your neighbor and having to smell your coffee breath while I watch hair grow on your back (your 10 year old tank top is revealing) and you try to teach me about the world...
Gerald Elekes April 11, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Wow, Mr. Ackerman! But, thanks for reading anyway. And have a nice day, sir.
Ashley April 16, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Hey Gerald!!! Do I smell a class-action law suit against AT&T? If so, count me in!!! I live in Folsom, CA and unfortunately have AT&T for cell phone, internet, and home phone. The only thing we don't have from AT&T is U-Verse, probably just because we are still under contract with Direct TV. Because we do not have U-verse, AT&T bulldog salespeople have come to the door on 3 occasions, the most recent being 4/14/12. Each time, I point to our "no solicitors" sticker and say "no thank-you". This is the part where the AT&T people are supposed to leave. Instead, they say they are not solicitors and that due to an upgrade AT&T has made in the "lines" we have to change our service. Each time I tell these people that they are in fact solicitors and I want them to leave, they have all still argued with me and would not leave! Instead, they read my full name from their clipboard and say I have to make a change to my service because of their upgrade. It is very disturbing that these salespeople have my first and last name and my address simply because I am unfortunate enough to have other AT&T services! I have called customer service all 3 times and am always told they will forward the complaint. The most recent was a male and female duo and when they still refused to leave after 2 requests to do so, I asked, "what do I have to do, call the police??" The male was incredibly snide and said "go ahead, call the police". It truly is unbelievable! We are ending AT&T services because of this!
Ashley April 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM
And by the way Jake Ackerman, your comments were unfounded and illogical. You seem to think that someone must live in the "ghetto" if they are cautious about opening the door to salespeople. Guess what genius, the criminals come to the nicer areas to attempt home invasions because that is where the nicer stuff is. This is the very reason I have the "no solicitors" sticker in my window. Gerald's article was spot on! (I am seriously thinking Jake Ackerman must be so offended by the article because he is one of those pesky AT&T salespeople! LOL!)
Gerald Elekes April 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Ashley, thanks for reading and your input. I wonder if these AT&T "salespeople" are actually employees of AT&T? You know with background checks and drug testing protocals. Having a subcontractor with personal and private info walking around bothering "uninterested" people is problematic. Maybe a call to AT&T's legal/fraud dept. would help. On the computer menu, when they ask you what you want, say, "Fraud." Then follow the instructions. No customer Service reps, no supervisors-- you want to talk to someone with "Real" clout. That should get you to the right person. Then complain, and make them enter your complaint/comments in the computer. And the next time anyone from AT&T does show up at your door-- Do call the police. Not 911, but dispatch or the desk. So get the number and have it ready. At least they will field ID the soliciters, and if they are unlicensed, they will at the minimum be wary about bothering you or soliciting in your area again. Trust me it works. The last thing a persistant, rude salesperson wants to do is have a pointed conversation with a cop. And by the way, I am also ending AT&T services. Who needs them! Good Luck.
Gerald Elekes April 20, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Home Invasion Robbery Does Happen, and "Ruses" are used-- so be smart and be aware. Unsure-- make a phone call to confirm identity From the NH-TolucaLakePatch 04-20-2012 On Monday, March 12, 2012, at 9:40 pm, a home invasion robbery occurred in the 1900 block of North Buena Vista Street. The victim answered her door upon seeing a security officer in full uniform, consistent with the security officers at her apartment complex. When the victim opened her door, the suspect immediately forced his way into the apartment, holding a knife. The suspect, still holding the knife to the victim, demanded her cash and jewelry. The suspect then fled the apartment in an unknown direction. The suspect is described as a Male, Hispanic, 30-39 years old, 5”-10” to 6’, 200-250 pounds, last seen wearing a white uniform style shirt, black pants, and black shoes or boots. The Burbank Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect. If you have any information on the crime or identification of the suspect, you are asked to contact Detective Medlin at 818-238-3273. Questions regarding this statement may be directed to Sergeant Darin Ryburn, 818-238-3240
Jazzmenlilly April 21, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Just had two "AT&T " reps knock at my door. It's 8:30 at night on a Friday!!! As a woman at home by myself t the time, Hell no I'm not opening the door! Even if it was broad day light or had my fiancé home, why do you need to send two people to tell me your doing "rewiring". Sounds shady! Leave an email or send a notice in the mail. Not a good process if it is trully at&t.
Gerald Elekes April 21, 2012 at 03:45 PM
You sure got that right. AT&T is engaged in really bad business practice as I view it. As I suggested to Ashley, contact the legal/fraud dept. of AT&T and register your concerns and get taken off their "Hit List." Thanks for reading and your direct and relevant comments.
john rose August 01, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I work for a company that goes door to door in the valley. Ive been doing it for 10 years. Before i was a teacher. But the job market is terrible. We sell home remodeling. Yes you do have a lot of crime in door to door sales. But not from local companies. We nor do any other company ive canvassed for hire fellons. Its the magazine guys you need to be weary of. They dont care who works for them. And they travel state to state commiting crimes and then they are gone. It makes it hard on my boys. But this is an effective way to market. Over the years i have been very successful supporting my wife and kids. So my message is this, yes be carefull who you open the door to . But dont feel lime yourselves cant answer the door to anyone. There are alot of good people out there just trying to earn a living.
Gerald Elekes August 01, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Thanks for reading. Obviously, you are entitled to your opinion, but giving advice for people to open their door to complete strangers without giving the actual company you represent is a pretty weak argument. Are you or your company going to indemnify them? How do people standing behind a closed door actually know who you are, your background, your current state-of-mind, or anything else about you, your employees, or the company you're represented without having prior contact or researching it? While I'm certainly glad you support yourself legally, personally, if I want my home remodeled, I'll call a licensed building contractor. Before I sign a contract, I'll thoroughly check them out with The Better Business Bureau, the State Contractor's Board, and I will check references, credit history, insurance viability-- both liability and Workman's Compensation-- and I will visit former job-sites to see the actual quality of work. But more importantly, and more to the point, I'm sure you'll be right there at that particular instance when some bad guy knocks on the door of a vulnerable individual and then makes unlawful entry. Please research "Home Invasion Robbery," "Knock-Knock Burglary," and “”Serial Rapist.” And for your information, many of the “Knock-Knockers” are known “local gang members,” not gypsies travelling the country selling magazine subscriptions and crappy roofing and driveway jobs. They are actively working the Valley for their employment. Goggle it.
Gerald Elekes August 02, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Here's a timely and relevant example of one particular danger of door-to-door contact compliments of NoHo-Toluca Lake Patch and North Hollywood Division LAPD. Dated 08-01-12 "LAPD Warns of 'Fumigator' Burglar Striking North Hollywood Area " From NH-LAPD Facebook page: "Community Alert…burglar in North Hollywood! There is a male Hispanic (or appears Hispanic) in his mid-50s, about 5'06", 155 pounds, brown hair, who is posing as a fumigator. He may come to your front door and say he was sent by the property... owner. He will spray an unknown liquid and ask for your help. He will then try to make his way inside your house and take your belongings while you’re distracted. If you encounter this person, please take down his license plate, and any other information you can, and call us immediately. He may strike elsewhere in North Hollywood or surrounding areas. Feel free to share with your friends." Careful out there.
Ann Earnest February 14, 2013 at 05:29 AM
I had a call about 9 P.M. from so call sells for AT&&T telling me that I was gooing to have swich to a new system to have internet. Number one I believe I wil get a notice if there is any truth to what they are saying. Number two I believe it would be on the news. Would like to know why AT&T would do this door to door.
Gerald Elekes February 14, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Ann, that's the million dollar question. Seems like a stupid business decision, especially in the day of "home invasions," & "knock-knock" burglaries. When I questioned the "AT&T" men banging at my gate after dark, they were less than reticent about their after dark business format. It may have been my 2 trained German Shepherds "Watching," or maybe they're just Common Rubes and didn't like my less than friendly attitude. As a result, I contacted AT&T and lodged a complaint, but since you're dealing with a "customer service representative" don't expect too much. However, I did find out that they actually do have "sales representatives" working the street going house to house for existing customers in an attempt to get them to upgrade their service, including Internet access. Still, a stupid move I think. Why not just call or send me a letter informing me? Why is a stranger showing up at my home after dark? I insisted on talking to their Security Division in Fresno, otherwise I'd cancel my service. At that point, I received some satisfaction. I was put on a "do not contact" list. I haven't had a problem since, although there are still solicitors, licensed and otherwise, who canvass the neighborhood. Simple solution for your personal safety, on a door knock-- acknowledge that someone is home, but do not open the door; if they persist, call the police and report a trespasser. I assume you lock your doors. I would. To control ingress-- fences & locked gates aren’t a bad idea.
Leni Park April 05, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Hi Gerald, when a stranger knocks at my door, I don't open the door but I sure make a lot of noise inside so it'll seems as if there are multiple people inside the house. (I turn the radio on in different rooms to different stations, play the tv loudly, etc)
VictimOfSystem April 05, 2013 at 05:40 AM
They like to "go fishing" when you call them and then the only person charged with a crime is the person who called.....and not for what they called about. That's why now when I call about the flood of people going through my blue container on trash night I refuse to give my name for contact.....I don't need THAT KIND of hassle and destruction of a perfect record again.
UNKNOWN SINGER April 30, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Private Property! NO TRESPASSING signs are available at the Home Depot...
Neil Saxon July 19, 2013 at 07:24 PM
I employ "canvassers" to set appointments for my home improvement business. It is very effective. Yes I have a permit. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I must eat too. The people who use us love us.
Gerald Elekes August 03, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Good-- apparently, you are following all the rules. No one is denying you a living. Merely supplying facts for the unaware and the vulnerable. Does education bother you? Under the Los Angeles Municipal Code, Chapter IV, "Public Welfare," Article 1 "Disorderly Conduct Places And Publications," the rules become clear. Under Section 41.43.1, "Door To Door Selling Or Soliciting" the LAMC Code specifically states: No person shall solicit, sell or offer to sell, demonstrate or take order for goods, wares, or any form of merchandise, by entering upon the premises of another for such purpose except in compliance with the provisions of this section. (a)"Solicitation." As used in this section, shall mean to sell or offer to sell, demonstrate or take order for goods, wares, or any form of merchandise or services. (b) No person shall enter the premise of another for the purpose of solicitation between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. of the following day. (c) Any person over the age of 16 who engages in door-to-door solicitations shall carry a form of photo identification and must present such photo identification upon request of any persons being solicited, any peace officer or other person charged with the enforcement of the laws pertaining to such solicitations. The photo identification must include the person's date of birth and be issued by a governmental agency or educational institution. Acceptable identification includes a state driver's license, state identification card, school identification card, or any government issued identification card. (d) Any person engaged in door-to-door solicitation shall present the original or a copy of the Business Tax Registration Certificate required under Los Angeles Municipal Code 21.06 upon the request of anyone being solicited, any peace officer, or other person charged with enforcement of the laws pertaining to such solicitations. (e) The provisions of this section shall not apply to vendors or solicitors who have previously been invited or requested to appear at such premises by the owner or lawful occupant thereof, or to persons making charitable solicitations in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter IV of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. In summary, LAMC permits some forms of door-to-door solicitation as long as certain guidelines are followed. The main guidelines are the possession of a proper photo ID, possession of a valid business tax license, adhering to the correct hours for sales, and presenting the photo ID and tax license when requested. No magazine sales or subscriptions, or the sale of tangible personal property, slated for future delivery are permitted.

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