Anyone who thinks the era of the door-to-door salesmen is over is mistaken. A number of companies may use things like telemarketing or email spam, but a knock on your door in the evening as your family sits down to dinner still occurs.
One utility company which seems enamored of door-to-door sales is Direct Energy. The company currently has door-to-door salesmen working in Wetaskiwin, as the writer of this article had one ring his doorbell July 12 at 8 p.m.
The salesmen tend to be pushy bordering on argumentative, as many of them are paid for each new customer they recruit. The one that approached the Pipestone Flyer editor’s home had to be told “not interested” three times and had a door slammed in his face before he left.
One effective strategy Pipestone Flyer readers can use to handle any kind of door-to-door salesmen is to ask to see their City of Wetaskiwin business license. Most salesmen who conduct commerce in the city require a business license, that includes vendors who sell flags and blankets on a roadside, with some exceptions being for organizations such as not-for-profit groups or certain types of market vendors.
City bylaws do state, however, that a company such as Direct Energy that is conducting door-to door sales must have a business license to operate in Wetaskiwin, and each of their sales reps must be able to produce a copy of the business license immediately upon request, according to the city July 15.
The city did confirm July 15, however, that Direct Energy does have a valid business license.
According to Service Alberta, “Salespersons must carry identification that includes their business license number. Before you allow a door-to-door seller into your home or office, ask to see their identification.
“Call Service Alberta to confirm that a business is licensed. You can also find this information at the Service Alberta website – www.servicealberta.ca or by calling toll-free 1-877-427-4088.
“If you sign an agreement with a natural gas or electricity marketer for your home, farm or small business, you have a 10-day cooling off period no matter where the contract was signed.
“Extended cancellation rights apply to electricity and natural gas contracts if the seller is not licensed, there is no start date on the contract or the supply of energy did not start within 30 days.”
And remember, if you’re not interested in what a door-to-door salesman is selling, it is not rude to say “No” and close the door.