The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin is reminding consumers that various door-to-door schemes start when the weather gets warmer.
Springtime in Wisconsin is the kick off for door-to-door sales and representatives will soon be ringing doorbells and peddling products and services in neighborhoods throughout the state. The BBB sees complaints every year, on everything from tree trimming and stump removal, to alarm sales and monitoring services. The BBB also receives regular reports of magazine subscription sales, vacuum cleaner and meat sales, home improvement work, and charity donation requests.
One of the most common is asphalt pavers that offer to repave your driveway with “leftover material from a nearby job” or at a special price. If you aren’t careful, you can end up with substandard work or products, or perhaps with nothing at all for your money.
“If someone knocks on your door trying to sell a product or service, or asks for a donation for a charity, do your homework first,” says Ran Hoth, CEO/president. “A legitimate company or charity will not pressure you into making an immediate, on-the-spot decision. Take time to think about the offer and check on the company or organization.”
Sales crews are usually from out of state (“travelers”) and come into communities by the vanload to canvas neighborhoods and sell products, often without appropriate licensing.
In Wisconsin, traveling sales crews are now required to register with the Department of Workforce Development’s Equal Rights Division (DWD-ERD) and secure sales permits for each crew member.
When entering a community, the crew members must have their sales permits stamped by the municipal clerk. Each sales member must carry the permit with them and present it upon request by potential customers or police officers.
Ask to see some type of identification as well as proof they are allowed to engage in such sales activity.
The BBB recommends being cautious of a door-to-door salesperson if they:
The BBB recommends that you further protect yourself by paying with a credit card—rather than cash—in order to take advantage of the consumer protections provided by this method. Pay attention to the vehicle being driven and whether it has identifying information, such as a company name or logo. Does the vehicle have an out of state license plate? Write down the plate number. Report anything suspicious to your local police department. If you have a complaint, contact the Better Business Bureau.