Over the past weekend and several days people in the communities of Little Chute, Kimberly and Combined Locks have noticed a red van throughout their neighborhoods with salesmen going door to door.
Through social media the citizens raised their concerns to Fox Valley Metro and the police appreciate the public reaching out when it comes to suspicious activity.
“We love to see that type of interaction,” said Michael Lambie of Fox Valley Metro. “There has been documented cases where door to door solicitation has been a ruse to a home invasion type burglary or somebody might be casing a home for a later burglary.”
Fox Valley Metro says the group going door to door stopped by the village hall to obtain a permit, turns out they didn’t need one because of a village ordinance that makes an exemption for people who are asking for donations.
Fox Valley Metro said that you don’t have to answer the door if you don’t want to and to use your intuition when it comes to solicitation.
We also reached out to the Better Business Bureau in Appleton who had more tips for people, because it can be hard to tell whether people trying to sell you something is a scam, here is their list.
Ask for identification and license/permit. A seller should provide you with information, including a business card and proof of their solicitation permit.
On-the-Spot Donation Decisions: Be wary of excessive pressure in fund raising. Don’t be pressured to make an immediate on-the-spot donation. Charities should welcome your gift whenever you want to send it.
Check with Outside Sources before Giving: Visit BBB Wise Giving Alliance’ at give.org to access reports that summarize rigorous evaluations in relation to 20 holistic BBB Charity Standards that address governance, results reporting, finances and appeal accuracy.
High-pressure sales tactics. Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics. A trustworthy company should let you take time to think about the purchase and compare prices before buying or putting down a deposit. Some unscrupulous door-to-door sellers will put pressure on you to close the deal at that moment, and even make special offers to entice you. If you find yourself in this position, find a way to end the conversation quickly.
Time sensitive offer. Don’t be pressured to take advantage of a time-sensitive offer. Take time to decide whether you’re sure you want the product. Do some comparison shopping first.
Research the company with BBB. Visit www.bbb.org to view the company’s BBB Business Review to find out more about their marketplace performance. You can download and use the BBB iPhone app to access the company’s report while the person is standing at your door, or visit m.bbb.org on your mobile device.
Get transaction details in writing. Be sure you receive a contract or receipt explaining the details of your purchase and all of the terms and conditions that apply.
Consider shopping locally. Some door-to-door salespeople are from out of town and can be difficult to find when something goes wrong with the product or service.
Remember the “Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule.” The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives consumers three days to cancel purchases of more than $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, the salesperson should always provide a cancellation form that can be sent to the company to cancel the purchase within three days. By law, the company must give consumers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.
Stand strong. Do not invite unsolicited salespeople into your home. Ask for identification before you open the door. If you do allow a salesperson inside and decide during the presentation that you are not interested in making a purchase, simply ask him or her to leave. If the salesperson refuses to leave, threaten to call the police, and follow through if they don’t leave immediately.