BBB alerts consumers to holiday door-to-door sales claiming proceeds benefit charities

Door to Door Sales 300x210 BBB alerts consumers to holiday door to door sales claiming proceeds benefit charitiesAs Christmas soon approaches, America is wrapped in the holiday spirit of giving and charity. Residents often give to help other in need through charities as they also shop for family, friends and coworkers.

But one company soliciting books and magazines door to door in the area is taking advantage of warm, giving hearts alive with the holiday season.

Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to young door-to-door salesmen representing Urban Nation.

One consumer reported a young girl stop by her home stating she was from Detroit and was in Lafayette, Louisiana working with Urban Nation. The girl also said a portion of the sales “went to help others,” implying a portion of the sale went to charitable organizations.

She said after her husband paid the girl a $100 to order for their grandchildren, he mentioned the company name and the “nice girl” to her. She then remembered she ordered from the company last year and never received the items.

The consumers then immediately stopped payment on the check.

Urban Nation currently has an F rating with the BBB on a scale of A+ to F. Factors that lowered the business’ rating include 174 complaints filed against business, failure to respond to one complaint filed against business, seven complaints filed against business that were not resolved and the business has failed to resolve underlying causes of a pattern of complaints.

According to BBB reports, this business is not a registered charity, meaning that money given to the company does not benefit any charitable cause, as far as BBB has been able to verify. Any charity should have 501c3 status with the IRS and be able to provide proof that at least 60 percent of proceeds go back to the actual charity that they collect for.

BBB offers the following tips when dealing with door-to-door solicitors:

  • Start with Trust. Visit www.bbb.org to view the company’s BBB Business Review to find out more about their marketplace performance.
  • Be safe. Never invite the solicitor into your home. 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.
  • 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. Unscrupulous door-to-door sellers will put pressure on you to close the deal at that moment. If you find yourself in this position, find a way to end the conversation quickly.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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About Sharane Gott

Sharane A. Gott is the President/CEO of the BBB of Acadiana in Lafayette, LA. She is a certified mediator and has served on the Council of the CBBB Board of Directors, Bureau Operation Committee, as well as many other national committees over her 27 years with the BBB.