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Tips for Avoiding Door-to-Door Solicitors

By NOPEC on  November 16, 2020

The doorbell rings. Could it be a Girl Scout selling delicious cookies? You run to the door, only to find out that, unfortunately, it’s not a Girl Scout, but rather a for-profit solicitor on your doorstep claiming to be from a utility provider—and he wants you to enroll in a new plan.

Your mother taught you to always be polite, but you really don’t want to deal with this salesman. What should you do? It's actually quite simple! Here are some tricks for avoiding for-profit door-to-door solicitors.

1. Always Use the Peephole

Whenever there is an unexpected knock at your door, don't open it. Use the peephole first to see who is standing on your porch. If it appears to be a solicitor or someone else that you don't know or want to talk to, simply don't open the door. They’ll get the hint to leave you alone after a few knocks.

2. Don’t Engage in Conversation

In addition to not opening the door, you don’t want to engage them in conversation, either—even if it’s through the door. It might seem contrary to your polite upbringing but engaging the salesperson in conversation will only encourage them to continue talking to you. If you don’t want to be bothered, giving them the “silent treatment” is the best approach.

3. Post a “No Soliciting” Sign

In an effort to keep for-profit solicitors from coming to your door, try posting a “no soliciting” sign in a visible place in front of your home, like in your yard or window. Many door-to-door salespeople will honor the sign and move along.

4. Walk Away If You’re Outside

If someone is approaching you on your property and you don’t want to talk to them, you’re within your rights to walk away — even if it does feel a little rude. Firmly say, “no thank you” and head into your house. Be sure to lock the door behind you.

5. Sign Up for your community’s Do Not Knock or No Solicitation Registry

If your community offers a Do Not Knock or No Solicitation Registry, you can sign up to keep for-profit salespeople away from your door. NOPEC and 19 local communities in Ohio provide a free Registry to stop for-profit solicitors from knocking on your door. This means that when for-profit, door-to-door salesmen obtain a permit to solicit in your neighborhood, they’ll also receive this list that lets them know which houses and businesses they can’t go to.

Getting started with the Do Not Knock program is easy. First, check to see if you live in a NOPEC community. Eligible residents can simply sign up to have their home or business address added to the registry. Once a year you will receive a notification asking if you would like to renew your request.

If a solicitor visits your home anyway, you have the right to call the police. Of course, it usually never gets that far. Most salespeople will simply apologize for the error and leave as soon as you remind them that you are registered with Do Not Knock. However, if they don't leave, you have recourse.

Keep in mind that the Do Not Knock list only applies to for-profit salespeople. Not-for-profit organizations like the Girl Scouts routinely visit homes as well, and the Do Not Knock registry won’t prohibit them from knocking on your door. So don't worry, you can still enjoy your Girl Scout cookies without having to worry about being interrupted by a solicitor.

Dodge Door-to-Door Solicitors Like a Pro

Following these tips is an excellent way to keep door-to-door salespeople out of your hair. By signing up for the Do Not Knock Registry, though, you can stop for-profit solicitors from coming to your door, period.

To learn more about the program and sign up, click here!

Tags: NOPEC, Do Not Knock
Categories: Do Not Knock

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