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Don’t get Heated by High-Pressure Door-to-Door Salespeople

5/17/2012

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Don’t get heated by high-pressure door-to-door salespeople

BBB warns consumers about aggressive door-to-door salespersons showing up at your door this summer  

AUSTIN, Texas – May 18, 2012 – After receiving hundreds of complaints against companies using aggressive door-to-door sales tactics to pressure consumers into buying bogus or misleading products, Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert about such companies. The issues range from magazine subscriptions that were paid for but never delivered, to food products that were not of the high quality originally promised.

During the summer months, BBB routinely receives complaints from consumers against businesses that employ aggressive door-to-door selling techniques. Some examples of high pressure sales tactics include hostile and persuasive rebuttals to consumer concerns, deep discounts offered upon immediate payment and refusal to take “no” for an answer.

While many businesses utilize door-to-door marketing tactics, BBB reports the following industries consistently garner a high number of complaints during the summer months:

Magazine subscriptions: BBB has already received more than 600 complaints in 2012 against companies selling magazines door-to-door. The most common complaint BBB receives involves consumers paying for magazines they never receive. Furthermore, several consumers allege the sales representative misled them by claiming to work for a local school or charity on a fundraiser.

Food products: Sales representatives knock on doors selling produce or meat products, claiming their prices are much lower than grocery stores. So far in 2012, BBB has received 25 complaints against companies selling meat products door-to-door. Consumer complaints to BBB allege that their orders never arrive, or are not of the high quality originally promised.  

Other industries employing door-to-door sales tactics that BBB receives complaints about are cosmetics, photography and cleaning supply companies.

If visited by a door-to-door sales representative, BBB recommends consumers do the following:

·        Be safe. Ask for identification before you open the door.

·        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 or putting down a deposit.

·         Research the company with BBB. Visit bbb.org to view the company’s Business Review to find out more about the company’s marketplace performance. If you have a smart phone, you can download and use the BBB app to access the company’s report while the person is standing at your door, or visit m.bbb.org.

·        Get transaction details in writing. Be sure you receive a contract or receipt explaining the details of your purchase and all 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.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.

About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.

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