Door to door sales scams on the rise
Courtny Gerrish, Stephanie Graham
Courtny Gerrish reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
People are peddling many new products, and sometimes it's hard to tell which are the real deal. A knock at the door recently interrupted Gretchen Kennedy while she was working from home. When she opened it, she saw two young men on her porch.
"They said that they were selling magazines and I said I wasn't interested and I said that I declined several times," Gretchen recalls.
She finally caved in because they said it would help charter schools. But the magazine never arrived. When she complained, the company never responded. She says, "It angers me that, that someone would do, pull the fundraising card."
Gretchen fell victim to one of the latest door-to-door sales scams out there.
Carrie Hurt is with the Better Business Bureau. She says, "They will normally try to pull at your heart strings, pull at your purse strings."
The number of complaints the Better Business Bureau received about door-to-door sales more than doubled in a year! In 2010 the BBB got 600 complaints, and in 2011 that number more than doubled to 1300 and it's up again.
Elliott Shouse knows about high pressure sales tactics. Unemployed in a bad economy, he took a job selling windows door to door. He says he quit after the first day. That's because he says the sales instructor made a disturbing suggestion: "Go into the kids rooms and if the windows didn't open to tell the people that their kids would die if they didn't buy these products."
What are the newest door-to-door products racking up complaints?
-Produce and meats
We found the company Gretchen paid has an 'F' rating with the BBB, and more than 170 complaints.
"I was angry that I was duped," she exclaims.
The BBB says if someone knocks on your door trying to sell you something, take their business card, research the company and its products, and tell them you'll call them back if you want to do business.
Hurt suggests, "Don't feel as though you have to make that decision immediately."
Representatives from the door-to-door sales side did not respond to requests for comment on this story.