PTC police urge caution with peddlers
Peachtree City Police are cautioning local residents to be careful in dealing with door-to-door sales solicitors and telemarketing phone calls, since they provide opportunities for residents to be victimized.
While some such businesses are legitimate, the police department receives complaints about solicitors using pushy sales tactics, such as not taking "no" for an answer, or other concerns that range from un-kept sales pitch promises to ever-increasing scams involving theft or identity fraud.
One of the easiest ways to avoid fraud from telemarketers and door-to-door solicitors is to simply hang up the telephone or close the door, police said.
City ordinances exist to protect citizens from unwelcome peddlers and solicitors. Before a person can legally solicit or sell door-to-door in your neighborhood, they must display identifying credentials and register with the police department. This requirement however does not apply to local non-profit organizations such as the boy scouts, civic clubs, religious, charitable, political, or education organization unless the solicitation is being accomplished by paid solicitors.
The ordinance states that no solicitor, peddler, or door-to-door salesperson shall:
• Call at residences, offices or businesses clearly displaying a sign stating “No Solicitors or Peddlers Invited,” “No Solicitation,” or signs that use similar language.
• Engage in door-to-door soliciting at residences on Sundays or between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.
• Enter any private dwelling without the consent of the owner or occupant, or remain there after being requested or directed to leave.
• Police also suggest that residents take the following precautions if they choose to do business with peddlers and solicitors:
• Don’t pay in advance or pay half now and half when the work is done.
• Deal with reputable local or area businesses.
• Ask questions and get an official form of identification. The solicitor is required to carry and display their solicitor’s permit when requested. If all the solicitor/salesman has is a driver's license, take down his/her information and when it’s convenient, contact the police department.
• Don't let the solicitor or salesperson into your home. If you feel uncomfortable with the situation ask the person to leave. If they don't leave, call the police department.
• Don’t give in to intimidating or high pressure sales and requests for contributions. It’s O.K. to be rude.
• If you have a "No Soliciting" sign in place, call the police if the solicitor ignores the sign and comes to your door.
• Get a written estimate for what you want done and take the time to research other offers.
• Check the business with the Better Business Bureau and City Hall. If they don’t have a business license, you’re taking a chance.
• Get everything - guarantees, warranties, and special offers in a written contract.
• Don't do business with people that want you to hire them as soon as possible or with people offering to do work with left over materials.
• Avoid being a victim. Ask questions and don't handle business in a hurry. Call the police department if there is anything unusual about the situation.