How To Avoid Door To Door Salesmen

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When I was a kid and thought of the word of salesmen in my mind I would get a cartoonish image of some greasy car salesmen. You know the type, ready to sell a slick looking new car with garbage under the hood to an unsuspecting victim. As we get older though we often want to convince ourselves that that unsavory image is just silly and nothing more than a stereotype. In some ways this can be silly but trust me when I say there are still many out there that would sell their own mothers just to make that sale.

It is because of these type of people that I am sometimes driven to near agoraphobic behaviour. Basically becoming a hermit while in my home. I have often not answered my door for fear of a salesmen or possibly others I would rather not see. I never answer my home phone unless I recognize the telephone number that's calling me. I also find myself bombarding by more junk mail on a daily basis than I ever receive in normal mail, and that includes bills. Don't get me started on my email.

So not to long ago when I answered my door (when I was waiting on a package) I was surprised to see a stranger staring back at me and not the postman. He claimed to have been referred to me by my gas company and wanted to switch me over to a better contract. As I understood it was still through my gas company. So I listened. Throughout our three hour conversation about everything from my health, to my business to how much we had in common he explained the contract. As he said it was supposed to be a new initiative that was being introduced by the government to subsidize certain peoples gas bills and, lucky me, I was selected. After awhile he had me believing him as he had so much of my info already and had a way of getting even more including finally a signature from me.

After he left I read through the pamphlets he gave me and realized I had made a mistake. I called into his company, which was not associated with my gas company and asked some hard questions. Turned out it wasn't subsidized through the government. The check I was to receive was a one time thing for signing up. Not every month. The contract he was putting me on was something like equal billing where they get a lot of people on contracts and then charge everyone slightly above the average to make money from them as a whole. Just one problem though, I live in a small house and as such would normally pay a lot less through my own gas company. I promptly cancelled the contract over the phone and called my gas company and let them know not to do deal with the company on my behalf if they were to be contacted.

Suffice to say I will thing twice before opening my door again unless I know who is on the other side.

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Comments 20 comments

hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Agreed salesmen are irritants, when you want to spend your time productively scouring hubpages. But feel sad and guilty, as they have to earn their livelihood doing this work. Phone calls and emails are easier to deal with, as we don't see the person face-to-face.


steveso profile image

steveso 4 years ago from Brockport, NY

Salesmen are just 2 steps away from the most dishonest people, only one above politicians.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Except for Girl Scouts and high school event promoters, it has been a long time since we've had a door to door salesman around. Since I have done this kind of work myself I try to turn them down without being negative. I really dislike telephone solicitations and getting a lot of them during this political cycle.In bad times though many young people just needing a job sill try it.There are certain companies who are plain dishonest an should be avoided.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

You are so right, we never open our door to anyone unless it is expected company. OK, the girl and boy scouts are a different issue and believe me, we buy! My hubby will not answer any phone call that is not family (we have caller id for this reason). I guess we have all learned our lesson in dealing with sales people in general (and I won't go into that one!). Great post and voted up!


alipuckett profile image

alipuckett 4 years ago

Sorry this happened to you! I agree with teaches. Sometimes we have to learn these lessons the hard way. :(


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Sorry this happen to you. We were caught last year by a young boy saying he was from a local school selling cookies, of course weve never heard from him again.

Get this, when I was young my Mother would never answer the door to gipsies she thought they bought bad luck. If we didn't answer the front door knock they would come around to the back door, then she buy something just to get them away from our house.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Door to door salesmen are almost a thing of the past, thank goodness. I never open my door anyway unless I know who is on the other side.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Years ago, a door to door vacuum salesmen refused to leave when I didn't open the door. I had to call the police!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

hoteltravel - hehe, scouring hubpages :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

steveso - I know just what you mean


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

dahoglund - You are right some companies are dishonest and sometimes honest people still need to do it to make a living. I suppose it is mostly bad experiences that have soured me, but like you though I am never rude to people at my door. I was nice to this guy too, he just turned out to be dishonest. Thanks for commenting.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

teaches12345 - yes I think girl scouts and boy scouts are ok too. But yes I think I will really need to think twice before answering my door next time.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

alipuckett - thanks, I will watch who I open the door to next time.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

writer20 - I think boy scouts are ok. That is funny about the gypsies I guess your mom had the old world superstition. Was that when you lived in the UK or in europe?


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

mary615 - I think your right for the most part. There is a lot more money in products online for companies and it is easier than paying someone to go to peoples homes.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

breakfastpop - wow, that experience seems worse than mine.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

I have been in sales all of my life and have maintained a good reputation and my integrity, believe it or not :) But I'm also a writer and very artsy, so maybe I don't fit into the mold. Sorry this happened to you though.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 4 years ago from Utah

LOL terrektwo I've instituted the same policy long ago. If I've not invited anyone to my home, the door goes unanswered. Not only can you get fleeced, but you may also lose your life. Too many have died from the hands of another by opening the door to the unknown. It's sad, but one must almost live the life of a monk to stay on stay on safe side. Voted up, marked useful and interesting


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

picklesandrufus - well certainly no offense if your a decent sales rep and a decent person then that is great. I'm sure not everyone is like what I experienced but I just a had a bad experience in this case. Thanks for commenting.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

pmccray - I suppose it is possibly someone is on the other side of the door waiting to kill but I like to hope not. Either way your right best to be on the side of caution and just not answer unless you have someone coming over. I've taken to peeking out a nearby window to see whos there now so maybe that will work.

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