OMAHA, NE – One group of pushy magazine peddlers may have left Omaha, but police are warning residents to watch out, saying others are still out there. Last week officers arrested two magazine salesmen for going door-to-door selling without a peddler’s permit. Residents said the sales people became belligerent when they turned them down.
“He was definitely out of line. He was incredibly aggressive and I was just really wanting him to just get done because I had clients here that had come from out of town,” said Sandi Downing about the man who stopped at her Happy Hollow home twice and her Old Market business.
For weeks now, Downing has been trying to get her money back. The salesman cashed her check before she could stop payment at the bank, so Downing invoked fine print on her receipt, demanding the refund within three days of her purchase. She is still waiting.
“How much more can you say out there to tell people there's scams all the time happening? Be careful. Be smart,” said Bridget Fitzpatrick, crime prevention specialist with the Omaha Police Department.
Last week Fitzpatrick told KMTV police were cracking down the peddlers selling without licenses. Police even made two arrests. Fitzpatrick said by email Thursday reports continued coming in about people buying from the groups, and about new argumentative salesman not taking “no” for an answer.
Downing made her $200 purchase from a company called Urban Society. According to the receipt it is located in an apartment 1802 Florence Boulevard, just north of downtown Omaha. The number was not answered Thursday, and no one answered the door.
“There are so many magazine businesses out there that have ruined it for other good ones. So it's, like, people are not really into it any more. So we can't make money,” said a former magazine sales person who now lives in Lincoln. She worked for a different company for seven years, but traveled with Urban Society.
“The second time he came to the house we weren't going to answer the door, but it was, 'bang,' on the door,” Downing said.
“Definitely ask for a permit. It should have a city seal on it. It should be very official looking. Ask for a photo ID to go along with it so that the name on the permit matches the photo ID,” Fitzpatrick said.