By in Business

Phone Company Rant

I just chased a twenty-something salesman away from my front door. I won't say who he was representing, but I will say it's a national company that provides telephone, TV and internet services. And they're in my little town trying to hawk their new fiber optic services.

This is the fourth time they've been to our door trying to sell the service in the past couple months, and the fourth time we've told them we aren't interested in what they're selling. What gets me hot under the collar is that the guys coming around have all our account information on a tablet, and yet somehow they can't seem to keep track of who wants to be visited, who already has the service, and who is just plain not wanting to hear from them.

I started out by telling the young guy that I really was getting fed up having my supper interrupted by their salespeople, and asking if he could take note that we don't welcome their visits. He tried to tell me it was the last time they were visiting our town – but then instead of taking his leave politely, he tried to excuse their rudeness and incompetence by saying that a lot of people asked for them to come door to door here and that our mayor had even endorsed the program.

Really? Did you think that telling me other people want you to pester them repeatedly at home is going to make me buy a service from you? And don't even get me started on what I think of the mayor!

I finally had to tell the guy to just stop pitching me and go. I told him I was closing the door, and then I shut it in his face – none too gently.

Let him smile when he tells his buddies about the crazy lady who told him coming around door to door is rude. He can think whatever he wants, but he didn't make a sale here. And his company has ensured that it will never get my business, as long as there's a viable alternative.

Direct marketing in my mailbox is fine. A pamphlet added to my phone bill is fine. But when you start pestering me by calling my house or my mobile phone, or worse still knocking on my door after dark, you have crossed a line. And when it happens repeatedly, it borders on harassment.

How can businesses think this is a good thing? And really, do my neighbours actually welcome this kind of intrusion into their lives? I honestly can't imagine they would, when they could just as easily get the information necessary online, or by calling the company themselves.

What do you think? Should door to door sales be allowed? Do you welcome salespeople who call at your house uninvited?

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Image credit: ©Kyla Matton Osborne

Image Credit » Kyla Matton Osborne

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wolfgirl569 wrote on January 16, 2015, 9:49 PM

I dont deal with door to door salesman at all anymore. Most companys dont do it because of all the scammers out there.

WordChazer wrote on January 16, 2015, 9:58 PM

Door-to-soor salespeople get a 'NOT INTERESTED, THANK YOU!' from me, followed by closing the door hurriedly and loudly. Those who ring the landline are subjected to my fierce voicemail message. Those who ring the mobile have the number looked up online and usually marked as Spam, which ensures I won't answer when they ring again. And let me tell you, Spam is by far my biggest contact! The few callers I do inadvertently pick up who are cold calling marketers find they are told in no uncertain terms that if I want information from their company I will go online to find it.

VinceSummers wrote on January 16, 2015, 10:16 PM

I don't remember the last time -- in fact there was no first time -- we ever had a door-to-door salesman at our door.

celticeagle wrote on January 16, 2015, 11:12 PM

I doubt they care to keep good records on who wants their service and who doesn't want to be bothered. They probably think you may change your mind if they stay away awhile and then reappear. You can see that the company is struggling when they have to go door-to-door. Isn't that a little old fashioned? No, it shouldn't be allowed. I just wouldn't answer the door anymore but would make it plane that I was home. I am mean that way. People need to know I am not going to put up with it. This is just one more reason I HATE SALESPEOPLE.

grandma20121 wrote on January 16, 2015, 11:16 PM

Absolutely not! these kind of people really make me angry and they do not know how to take no for an answer. Thy need to find another way to pitch their sales.

DDS1 wrote on January 17, 2015, 1:37 AM

Yeah I think the whole door to door thing is dying off. Malls and/or stopping you on the street, but not so much at your door anymore.

bestwriter wrote on January 17, 2015, 2:00 AM

We too have them and they have this gift of coming when I am napping after lunch. I too shoo them away with some choice words. emoticon :angry:

Gina145 wrote on January 17, 2015, 4:15 AM

Businesses don't send people around door to door here, but they can be quite a pest on the phone. Thankfully it's much easier to hang up a phone than to slam the door in their face and I've done it on more than one occasion when somebody refuses to take no for an answer.

houserulesradio wrote on January 17, 2015, 6:05 AM

I will answer the door naked or let my snarling psychotic dog answer the door. That works.

nbaquero wrote on January 17, 2015, 7:08 AM

Ruby3881 It has been years since I last saw a door to door salesman, but I agree they should not be bothering people in the privacy of their homes. I think this must be one of the least effective sales techniques nowadays.

seren3 wrote on January 17, 2015, 10:49 AM

I never answer the door unless I'm expecting someone. It's always a service or a religion I don't want to buy.

mrsmerlin wrote on January 17, 2015, 5:45 PM

Put a sign up telling callers that you are not home to cold callers and hawkers. It seems that they think they own you and you are expected to do what they say

BarbRad wrote on January 17, 2015, 10:47 PM

I don't think there's any way to stop it except a locked gate or a mean dog in the yard. Those things kept me out as a precinct walker, as will a "no solicitors" sign. I assume you have one of those and these salesman ignore them. Maybe you need a sign that says your dog eats solicitors or something of the kind.

valmnz wrote on January 19, 2015, 5:20 AM

Here in New Zealand we've had a few come round recently too. I say no thank you and shut the door before they get very far. Same with those who phone as well. As far as I'm concerned, if I want a service I will personally investigate it.

Nar2Reviews wrote on January 19, 2015, 10:18 AM

Having worked when I was younger as a cold caller, and I recall the way things worked, the companies don't tend to add any personal details such as remembering who doesn't want to be annoyed/called upon. The companies may well keep pestering you because unless you buy something and thus go on record, they will not bother you, again. Now years later being so much older, we don't tend to get sales door to door in Scotland anyway but we do get the courtesy calls on the telephone. There are two ways in which to deal with pestering calls; either pretend you're not the homeowner (and thus can't enter into contractual agreements) or just ignore them. IF the company comes to you door the next time, tell them you're not the home owner - they may well change their tune.

paigea wrote on January 19, 2015, 1:13 PM

As one who earned my way through university knocking on doors to sell vacuums and then encyclopedias (yeah I'm old) I guess I'll refrain from commenting.

UK_Writer wrote on January 20, 2015, 6:24 PM

Because of the unusual approach to my house and door location, I need to move some fencing around to make it work better - and as part of that I plan to have a metal gate with a good lock on it, that I'll unlock until the postman comes each morning - and, I'll fix an exterior postbox just inside the gate, where a postman can reach through the bars to pop the post in there on the mornings the gate isn't unlocked. That way I can stop any fools from thinking they can interrupt me by knocking on the door - most days I am wandering around in a T shirt and thong, so I don't want unsolicited door canvassers turning up!

Ruby3881 wrote on January 20, 2015, 8:56 PM

This company had the details of our phone service with them, but somehow seemed "not to know" (on at least two separate visits) that the neighbour already had the very service they were selling. Most likely they were pushing for her to subscribe to a bigger package, but they denied knowing she'd already got a bundle from them.

Companies can and do have a no-call list. Some will claim they can't do anything because they are phoning randomly generated numbers. But they can enter numbers into a do not call log, which if selected by the machine, will just lead to the selection of a new number.

Any company that refuses to take note of those who don't want to be pestered, is less than businesslike. Most are happy to remove you from their logs if you ask politely.

As for not being the homeowner, I'm not. We rent. They couldn't care less. They know the landlord can't order services on behalf of the tenants. They also know there are a lot of older folk in this town who are unfamiliar with the technology, and easily talked into spending money on top of the line services they'll likely never use. That's why they've been coming door to door at the supper hour. They count on people being home at that time, and on older people being too polite to not invite them in to chat.

Ruby3881 wrote on January 20, 2015, 8:59 PM

We've done similar! My husband has been known to answer the door half-clad. He once told a Jehovah's Witness to go away, because we were all Satanists. I laughed a long time over that one. Half-naked guy with long hair, wearing a pentagram, claims to be a Satanist. Yup, that kinda freaked them out!

Ruby3881 wrote on January 20, 2015, 9:10 PM

I'm not permitted to post signs. There is no dog, nor any gate to close. But I'm pretty mean when someone pesters us!

Nar2Reviews wrote on January 20, 2015, 10:39 PM

&Ruby3381 not quite in terms of companies who do not know whether existing owners are there or not - but rather due to data reports released by companies who collect info on behalf of others sell the data information based on what you may subscribe to and take it from there. This is why neighbours or you may be visited more than once or twice. The companies don't know any better, but only go from the data that has been collected about your lifestyle choices.

Nar2Reviews wrote on January 20, 2015, 10:40 PM

Ruby3881 sorry I got your name wrong there when responding to your comment.