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  • Checking the Credentials of a Door To Door Agent

It can be frustrating being approached at the door when you don’t know whom exactly you’re dealing with. With some companies outright posing as other companies, there’s deception and misinformation abound when certain people approach you at the door. Separating real door to door salespeople from shady ones requires looking at several traits and possibly calling the company they work for.

When In Doubt, Check With Their Employer

Some door to door knockers actively pose as representatives for another company in order to entice you to sign up. While we all know about energy marketers posing as Enbridge, some rival companies use this tactic to either take business from one another, or to paint a negative image of their competitor.

One smart tip is to follow up with the company the salesperson claims to represent. Ask if this person represents their company, and feel free to ask them what their role is within the company. For many door to door services such as roofing or landscaping, the salesperson may not be in a technical position and they should not represent themselves as such.

If the door to door salesperson has an ID confirming their identity, confirm the number with their employer. And to be sure, this isn’t showing that you don’t implicitly distrust the person knocking at your door. It’s simply a safe precaution to confirm that you, as a consumer, are not being misled or treated unfairly in an industry that contains bad practitioners of good service.

Uniforms Say Everything about a Salesperson

It’s easy to forget that door salespeople are almost always required to wear a form of uniform identifying their company. It’s also important to note the function of their uniform as it relates to the work that they do. A suit is probably a bit much for anyone going door to door, and it suggests that the salesperson may not be taking their job seriously.

Also if possible, double check exactly what the uniform for the representatives company is supposed to look like. If the door to door salesperson wears a black windbreaker with their company logo on the shoulder, be wary when a representative from the same company wears a red vest with the company logo. Again, this may be something you have to check with the company they work for.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask About Their Compensation Structure

door-to-door-fundraisingAsking someone how much they make at their job is considered very gauche in this day and age. But when someone is offering you something, you do have a right to know what interest the door to door salesperson is getting out of it. Ask if their commission involves the initial product, or if it includes ongoing service, upsells, or service down the road.

In particular, and we cannot stress this enough, if the individual represents a charity and they disclose that they’re paid by commission: you should thank them politely and turn them away. It’s not an illegal or necessarily unethical way of compensating charity fundraisers who go door to door: it just doesn’t work.

Major charities in Canada have all but abandoned commission models for fundraising, as it leads to legal trouble and high-pressure fundraising, including fundraisers outright lying and guilting homeowners into giving. Currently, major charities keep fundraisers on a volunteer basis, or by wages.

If you buy something at the door, you need to know the person you’re dealing with is someone you can trust. As there’s still a lot of controversy and negative stigma surrounding door to door selling, you’re doing businesses and yourself a favor by investigating misrepresentation and misidentification before it can get to more homeowners across Ontario.

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