When two door-to-door salesmen started hitting up local neighborhoods, people called us, thinking it was a scam.
“It makes me very nervous that’s why I didn’t answer the door. He had a clipboard, I didn’t see a car, I didn’t see a van,” says Angelia Gafford.
It started with a post on the Nextdoor app. More posts followed from others in nearby neighborhoods. Some took their pictures, others took video of the men. The two are with Vivint, a legitimate alarm system company.
When you refuse their services, they still ask to put a sign in your front yard. One neighbor told me they even put a sign in front of an abandoned house.
They visited Rhonda Daniels recently.
“He was very persistent, he asked if he could just put his sign in my yard and they would pay me to put the sign in my yard and I said no, and it was very hard to get rid of him. And he kept mentioning someone around the corner had signed up with him and I could talk with them. Well I didn’t recognize their name,” says Daniels.
“Door to door salesmen are being phased out slowly, but we still see them from time to time,” says Sgt. Joe Mahoney with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Mahoney, companies will hire younger men or women to go door to door selling textbooks, vacuums, and alarm systems.
“They’re younger people, college students and I think they’re being trained wrong or being sent the wrong message. They’re being overly pushy when they come to a lot of people’s houses,” says Mahoney.
“He just makes everyone uncomfortable, he wants to try to come inside to talk to you about it,” says Daniels.
“They’re training them to be overly aggressive to try to get into the house. They’re trained—once you’re in that doorway, it’s much easier to sell what you’re trying to sell,” says Mahoney.
These students don’t get paid very much and their managers probably come down on them hard if they don’t sell, so that makes them even more aggressive. Experts say don’t answer the door if you don’t want to and don’t be afraid to be firm when telling them no.