Complaints about door-to-door salespeople spark BBB warning to buy wisely

April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - Warm weather and sunny days mean people are coming out of their winter indoor hibernation, including door-to-door solicitors. After receiving complaints about door-to-door salespeople, BBB has tips to help you pick out the good apples from the bad ones.

Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, says sometimes it can be difficult to determine a credible salesperson from a dishonest one. "There are some legitimate solicitors out there who use unethical sales tactics," she says. "That's why it's important for people to know what to look for before signing on the dotted line and opening their wallet."

BBB offers these tips for consumers to consider when someone knocks on the door:

  • Ask for credentials. Always ask for identification and licensing. Keep in mind that some businesses are not required to carry a direct seller license. Check with BBB to find out which companies require licensing.
  • Beware 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. End the conversation if you feel pressured to close the deal at that moment or are given special offers to entice you to make a hasty decision.
  • Beware of time-sensitive offers. Don't be pressured to take advantage of a time-sensitive offer. Take time to decide whether you're sure you want the product and do some comparison shopping first.
  • Get it in writing. Be sure you receive a written contract or receipt that clearly explains the details of your purchase and all of the terms and conditions that apply.
  • Remember the "10-day Cooling-Off Rule." Under certain conditions, the Fair Trading Act gives consumers 10 days to cancel certain purchases. Along with a receipt, the salesperson should always provide a cancellation form that can be sent to the company to cancel the purchase. By law, the company must give consumers a refund within 15 days of receiving the cancellation notice.
  • Stand strong. Remember you are not obligated to invite unsolicited salespeople into your home. If you are feeling pressured, close the door.  If you do allow a salesperson inside and decide you aren't interested, simply ask them to leave.
  • Check with BBB before you buy. Visit to view the company's BBB Business Review to find out more about their marketplace performance and other important information.
For more information about door-to-door solicitors, licensing and contract specifications and other tips, visit Service Alberta.


Victims of fraudulent door-to-door sales should report the incident to their local law enforcement, contact BBB at 403-531-8784 as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

For more information and other consumer tips, visit



Media contact:

Leah Brownridge
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Phone: (403) 531-8793

About BBB:

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