Friday, January 23, 2009

Buyer be wary

I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood and just happen to be one of the only SAHMs in the few blocks that surround us. We don't often get door-to-door salesmen but when we do, I always keep the door locked and tell them I'm not interested. However, last week, a young man approached me as I was on the porch with the kids. I immediately got the kiddos inside, but I was too late to escape the dude's sales-pitch which was "selling magazines for college tuition". And which was also a typical sales pitch: fast, friendly, an answer for everything, if I didn't want to order I could just give him cash (um, no thanks!) and then he showed me a copy of a receipt for my next door neighbor's order. Here's where the alarms went off, because when he showed me her order, he said that she told him to tell us that she was definitely recommending we buy something. HELLO?! Of course there was no way this scammer could have known that she hasn't talked to us in 4 months, that there is a lot of bad blood between us, and wouldn't recommend anything to us, ever. EVER. If our house was on fire, I doubt she'd call 911. She won't even walk her dog by our house -- she crosses the street first. (And, Suzanne, if you're reading this: you wrote down a ton of personal information on that little order form. Not too smart. Not that you'd listen to advice from me!)

Anyway, when he started in with that pitch, I got really suspicious, told him I wasn't interested and turned to go in the house. Right away he got hostile and gruff and started making comments about how come I didn't want him to go to college, what was wrong with me, etc. It was like turning off the friendly switch. I immediately went inside, locked the doors and called M to come home a bit early. I was that freaked out.

Today, the event still rankled me, so I googled "door to door magazine sales" and almost fell off my freakin' chair when this article came up. Call me naive or whatever, but I never imagined that the kids who sell these things were part of "crews" often selling phony subscriptions. Total rip off and total exploitation of the kids too.

A pretty tough reminder that there are some bad people out there.


Broady said...

Yikes. Thanks for the eye opener!

Debbie said...

This is what happened to us maybe the first year we lived in the apartment. And it is also why we freak out when we don't know who is at the door. I made the mistake of answering one time and politely turned him down. He kept talking and I tried the polite turn down again. He got angry and hostile and started cursing, the f word and all. It was very scary. We could hear him cursing as he was walking away. Now everyone knows to call first and NEVER just come knocking on the door. Just a bit of PTSD.

kari said...

That comment before was left by me, Kari, who didn't know I was logged in as Debbie. But she would agree with it. It is totally the truth.