We have all had that knock at the door. You are usually just sitting down for dinner or are up to your elbows in dish water. You answer the door to find someone “just happens to be in the area” and has extra material for paving your driveway, has a ladder handy to wash your windows, or has a vacuum that you just have to hear about. We often feel hesitation around starting a conversation with a door to door sales person but we do it anyway because we want to be polite. And then we don’t know how to end the conversation.
Don’t get us wrong, there are many legitimate businesses that use door-to-door sales as a marketing approach and who won’t pressure you into buying. But as a consumer, it’s hard to know how to say no or how to recognize potential scams.
If someone comes to your door selling you a product or service, try to remember that you did not invite them – they approached you. You are not obligated to enter into a contract with them nor are you required to spend your valuable time listening to a high-pressure sales tactic.
Here are some tips to help you if you find yourself in a door-to-door sales situation:
- Ask for credentials including ID and proof of who they are working for.
- Ask for time to think about the offer. It’s always a good idea to think things over to see if you really need the product or service.
- Consider if the short term special offer is worth it. Is a 15% seniors discount really worth it if you end up losing your money or have poor quality work?
- Get other estimates. What would the product or service cost if you purchased it elsewhere? Shop around to see if the product is cheaper at a store.
- Ask for reference checks.
- Consider what would happen if you get poor quality work. If the company “just happens to be in the neighbourhood” will they be in your neighbourhood if the driveway cracks?
- Remember, it’s okay to say “no”. There is nothing wrong with telling someone you are not interested and do not wish to hear about their product.
Door-to-door sales contracts are regulated by Consumer Protection BC and you do have rights. To find out more about your rights, visit our Consumer Help section of our website.