Author Topic: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE  (Read 1664 times)

SandyMansel

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Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« on: February 27, 2020, 09:30:04 PM »
Tonight, February 27, 2020, there are reports on Faceook of door-to-door solicitors knocking on doors after dark.  One person called GPD and they said no response unless they violate a “NO SOLICITING” sign.  Then an additional report on the same street brought GPD response tonight.  Not sure of the outcome.
THIS IS NOT .. ABSOLUTELY NOT .. a criticism of GPD.  They are simply operating within the guidelines set for them by this administration.
From November 30, 2018 to March 27, 2019, I sent a series of emails to the BMA and this post contains the articles and information contained in those emails.  Citizens all across Germantown were experiencing a terrible rash of aggressive and almost threatening door-to-door solicitors.  (Seemed to be on a rolling basis from one neighborhood to the next.)  Also some were reporting that these were just scammers.  Some of the “solicitors” said they were “selling magazines”.  Citizens reported in times past, they bought to help out the young people but did not receive magazines.   Several people reported aggressive and intimidating behavior happening to them and to their children outside their homes.  Some people even said they just gave them some money to get them to leave.
Unless someone else has heard any more response than I did, our only recourse is to put up “NO SOLICITING” signs at our front door and call GPD if someone knocks anyway.  Or if they do exhibit more aggressive behavior that warrants calling GPD.
Excerpts from my emails:
The Town of Collierville has an ordinance that places some restrictions, even though we can not entirely prohibit.
https://collierville.com/community-news/1440-collierville-police-offer-home-solicitation-safety-tips?highlight=WyJkb29yIiwidG8iLCJkb29yIiwiZG9vciB0byIsImRvb3IgdG8gZG9vciIsInRvIGRvb3IiXQ==
Lakeland has similar ordinance
http://www.lakelandtn.gov/index.aspx?NID=331&fbclid=IwAR0Jaqhf98x0EwUlOVNKlF8abx5fUuuKpksnw1LKGykJAfD19Ebgc9Pdm6w
In the complaints on social media one person who recently moved here from Nashville, mentioned that Metro Davidson County also has a similar ordinance.
https://www.nashville.gov/Metro-Clerk/Door-to-Door-Solicitation.aspx

This is actually more than just an annoyance.  When groups, who are obvious scammers, know that we do not have an ordinance, like Collierville, Lakeland and Nashville do, they have little fear of prosecution.

Although you may accuse me of being a fear monger, a recent episode of Forensic Files "Death by a Salesman" illustrates the danger in allowing these unvetted groups to roam a "safe" area with no restrictions.  If we had an ordinance requiring permits or I.D. badges and some form of vetting for legitimacy, at least GPD could have a reason to stop and ask for their proof.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHSjl6Dwyl0&fbclid=IwAR3aMkq2eQLTRMuPoPczARWYSanLcLxe8JCLCbRWoZOEdl7aI5Qql-6b7Y0
A "NO SOLICITATION" sign on this lady's door in Knox County, Tennessee, would have done NOTHING to prevent her murder by this door to door solicitor.  He apparently intended to break in and steal thinking no one was home.  Please take the time to watch this video.

We also seem to be having a rash of unlocked vehicle being ransacked, based on a recent GPD report.  Of course, it is possible this is totally unrelated, but it is also possible that they are related.



« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 09:37:11 PM by SandyMansel »

SandyMansel

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Re: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 09:42:55 PM »
Our current code is totally inadequate and gives citizens no protection other than placing a NO SOLICITATION or NO TRESPASSING sign.
Sec. 7-98. - Selling and distribution of materials prohibited.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to knock on the door, ring the doorbell, or otherwise attempt to gain admittance for the purpose of peddling or soliciting at any business establishment, residence, dwelling, or apartment at which a sign is affixed or otherwise exposed to public view bearing the words "No Solicitation" or "No Trespassing" or words of similar import indicating that such persons are not wanted on said premises;
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, unless specifically authorized by the owner or resident of a premises, to leave advertising materials, leaflets, pamphlets, literature, or the like at any business establishment, residence, dwelling, or apartment at which a sign is affixed or otherwise exposed to public view bearing the words "No Solicitation" or "No Trespassing" or words of similar import indicating that such persons are not wanted on said premises; and
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale at temporary display stands, except as allowed elsewhere in this chapter, any goods, wares or merchandise.
(Ord. No. 2012-04, § 1, 6-25-12)

administrator

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Re: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 07:27:22 AM »
By not having an ordinance, strangers are in essence given a 'permit' to come up on our property. This allows those up to no good to check to see if anyone is home in order to break in, whether or not kids are home alone, or if the residents are elderly and vulnerable. It also allows them to scope out the entire neighborhood w/o looking nefarious. There is no reason NOT to have this ordinance. No one wants solicitors knocking on their doors. In this day and age it's simply dangerous.

This from the same city that felt it was okay to ban We The Peoople from our own parks in the name of "safety". Once again there is an issue, that the vast majority of citizens care about, and the Royals refuse to even address it. They don't even pretend to care what we think about anything.

SandyMansel

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Re: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2020, 08:36:10 AM »
After writing original post, the next morning this post by Leslie Parker Vaughn (being shared with permission-actually request) was in FB page Germantown bulletin board and Germantown discussion group-anything goes.  So this incident had already happened a week earlier.  This demonstrates even further that we do need an ordinance.  We should be doing more to protect our citizens.

Quote
Neighbors: I posted this on the other Germantown Bulletin Board page and thought I’d share it here as well. Last Wednesday my daughter came home in the afternoon to find a man standing at our front door. As she walked up the driveway, he turned around and left the porch and walked down the driveway past her. He did not say or do anything to her (Praise God!), he only stared at her and walked off. Later that afternoon, my other daughter came home and as she and her friend walked up to the house, they noticed this same guy standing across the street still looking at our house!!! Unfortunately, neither one of them thought enough of the incident to notify me, my husband or the cops at the moment this happened😡.

GPD did not allow me to provide any description of this guy or file a report; they only suggested that I tell my daughters to immediately call 911 if something like this happens again. I didn’t have a picture at the time I called the police this morning, but a neighbor did!!! Please see the attached photo. If anyone else has seen this guy PLEASE let me know! Maybe if I can show GPD this picture and also report that several neighbors have also seen this guy canvassing the area, they will at least do me the honor of filing a report😔

Description: African American Male, very dark brown complexion, dreadlocks, ~5’9”.

Area: Farmington Meadows Subdivision



SandyMansel

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Re: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2020, 09:05:53 PM »
If you wish to contact the board of Mayor and Aldermen
Mayor Palazzolo at Mayor@Germantown-TN.gov or (901) 757-7252
Alderman Scott Sanders at SSanders@Germantown-TN.gov
Alderman Mary Anne Gibson at MGibson@Germantown-TN.gov
Alderman Dean Massey at DMassey@Germantown-TN.gov
Alderman Forrest Owens at FOwens@Germantown-TN.gov
Alderman Rocky Janda at RJanda@Germantown-TN.gov

SandyMansel

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Re: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2020, 12:40:23 PM »
Continuing reports on Facebook and Nextdoor.  We now have a company name - SelfStarters, Inc. - Checked Better Business Bureau
Alert
See What BBB Reports On
Pattern of Complaints
BBB files indicate that this business has a pattern of complaints concerning misrepresentation during sales and ordered products not being received.

In January 2016, BBB sent a request to the business to address this pattern and what actions the business has taken to help eliminate the causes of complaints. As of today's date, BBB has not received a response from the business.

https://www.bbb.org/us/fl/bradenton/profile/magazines-sales/selfstarters-inc-0653-90066735/details#all-alerts

And here is the link to their website with a photo of some of the "top salesmen".  https://selfstartersinc.com/top-salesman

And then found this on their homepage and attached a screenshot.  Sorry, but I just had to laugh

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Re: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 05:05:14 PM »
I have a sign on my door but they knock anyway. Sometimes it is young folks wanting money for something
   at school. I am not going to call the police on them for sure.  But I have to say in these times I would not let my child go door to door because it is a safety issue.

SandyMansel

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Re: Door-to-door Solicitors – WE STILL NEED AN ORDINANCE
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2020, 10:15:24 AM »
Article in Commercial Appeal, November 8, 2020

Magazine fraud scheme busted by FBI, Department of Justice

The scheme involved dozens of fraudulent magazine sales companies located across the United States and Canada. The 60 people indicted are located in 14 states and two Canadian provinces.

Randy Hutchinson - Special to Memphis Commercial Appeal USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE

The U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, and Postal Inspection Service collaborated to bring down the largest elder fraud scheme in the nation. That’s the good news. The bad news is that during the 20 years it operated, over 150,000 mostly elderly, vulnerable victims lost $300 million paying for fraudulent magazine subscriptions.

The scheme involved dozens of fraudulent magazine sales companies located across the United States and Canada. The 60 people indicted are located in 14 states and two Canadian provinces. Six operated from Oxford and Abbeville in Mississippi.

The Department of Justice cites two tactics defendants used to defraud people. Some employed a “renewal script” in which telemarketers falsely claimed to be calling from the consumer’s current magazine subscription company.

They also made a bogus offer to reduce the cost of a current subscription, but in reality signed victims up for new, expensive subscriptions. One consumer went from having one subscription to 12 .

Other defendants used a “cancellation” script to target people who had previously fallen victim to a magazine scam and were desperate to stop the subscriptions. Telemarketers claimed to be calling from a magazine’s “cancellation department” and offered to cancel the subscriptions and pay off outstanding balances for a large lump-sum payment. They weren’t actually affiliated with any magazine and consumers didn’t really owe the money they paid.

The indictments describe the different roles of defendants:

Company Owners operated the call centers and provided lists and scripts to the Telemarketers, who were trained by Call Center Managers.

Scheme Leaders provided a variety of services, including software programs that tracked orders and other customer information. They also sent invoices and collection letters to victims.

Lead brokers furnished the call lists. They charged premium prices of as much as $15 per name because many people on the lists were elderly and susceptible to fraudulent sales tactics.

In bringing the indictments, the U.S. Attorney said, “Unfortunately, we live in a world where fraudsters are willing to take advantage of seniors, who are often trusting and polite.”

The FBI special agent in charge said the scam artists left many victims financially devastated in their retirement years.

It appears all of these defendants conducted their schemes via telemarketing, but other magazine scammers go door-to-door. Over the years, we’ve issued consumer alerts about six local companies that victimized consumers here and in other states.

A common tactic is for young people to falsely claim they’re selling subscriptions to fund a school trip or earn a scholarship. People who fall for their bogus story often never receive their magazines.

The BBB offers these tips to avoid becoming the victim of a magazine sales scam:

Check out the company with the BBB.

Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics that rely on emotion.

Ask to see, or have sent to you, the terms and conditions of your subscription. Legitimate magazine companies will have and give them to you; crooks likely won’t.

It’s okay to hang up.

Pay with a credit card so you’ll have some recourse if something goes wrong.

Be wary if you can only pay by cash or check.

Remember that the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule gives you three days to cancel a sale over $25 made in your home. But also recognize that getting a refund from a scammer will likely be impossible.

Randy Hutchinson is the president of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South. Reach the BBB at 800-222-8754.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2020, 10:22:27 AM by SandyMansel »