Jeff, in East Boise, said he wasn't quite prepared to ask the right questions when the door-to-door solicitor knocked on his door this week.
"They were young people who were selling magazines, and if they got enough points, they'd get a trip to London," he says.
He says he was a little put out when the youth said the company they were with was Fit For Life, and that it was a Better Business Bureau-accredited business, and that the magazines sold would be sent to U.S. troops overseas.
Jeff is just one of the thousands of complaints the BBB receives each year from people who have unknowingly purchased multiyear magazine subscriptions from door-to-door sales people.
Being prepared when the sales person stops at your door will stop the sales cold. Remember, a key sales tactic is the pressure you feel when someone is at your door.
"I didn't fall for it," Jeff says. "But, I do know someone who did."
Boise police are aware of the solicitations that begin with spring weather. Communications Director Lynn Hightower says officers have already received complaints from area residents.
"Although most of the activity is completely legal, there are some solicitors who do not follow the law, use aggressive tactics, and a few who are just plain looking to commit crimes," she says.
Always ask for a Boise city-issued license from the person who knocks at your door trying to sell a product. They are required by code to have a permit at all times when selling door to door.
Never allow or invite a solicitor into your home. They can conduct their business on the step without exposing you and your family to unnecessary risk.
Ask the solicitor for written information about the company and product to see exactly who you are dealing with and what they are selling.
Door-to-door solicitation in Boise is legal from 9 a.m. to a half hour after sunset.
The BBB also cautions residents to stop door-to-door sales with a simple statement: "I'll research your company with the Better Business Bureau and contact you if I'm interested in buying." Repeat as necessary and commit it to heart.
Never give out personal or financial information to someone you do not know.
If you don't feel comfortable, do not open the door to strangers. Instead, say through the door that you are not interested and ask them to leave.
If you feel threatened by a door-to-door solicitor, call 911.
If you ordered magazines or other products from a door-to-door salesperson, but have not received them, you may file a complaint at BBB.org or with local law enforcement agencies.
Robb Hicken: 947-2115