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  • The “No Soliciting” Sign: Does Anyone Really Care About It?

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In Toronto, about 8% of all homes have it. In Ontario on a whole, this number drops to about 3%. It costs around a dollar, and it may be the first line of defense against an unwanted knocker. What is it? The tried and true “No Soliciting” sign. The problem is – who actually pays attention to it? Is putting a sign on your door going to deter knockers at the door?

Under Ontario Trespassing laws, there’s no specific legislation governing No Solicitating signs as sufficient notice for door-to-door knockers to consider them deterrents from knocking on your door.

While notice for trespassing can be displayed in sign form (As we see in restricted areas all the time), the legality of it can be difficult to enforce and can be somewhat of a grey area for Ontario homeowners. In addition, enforcing it can be a difficult lengthy process that causes more stress than it alleviates.

Do door-to-door salespeople obey No Soliciting signs? It’s difficult to get a straight answer on the topic, though ultimately it falls down to individual company policy. While some businesses operate on a laissez-faire policy of “whatever brings in sales”, other businesses operate with a little more rigidity regarding their door-to-door sales.

In short, door-to-door sales operate on an ethos of “best policy”; that is whatever practice is best. Thus, it can be telling whether or not their representatives do knock at the door when No Soliciting signs are present. Simply put – door-to-door salespeople who knock at these doors are more interested in sales than customer care.

Though, it’s good to keep in mind that this is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem with No Soliciting signs is that they’re bred out of a desire to avoid one type of soliciting. A lot of homeowners want to avoid either energy contractors at their door, or avoid door-to-door vacuum cleaner salespeople (they still exist!), but may be more receptive to other offers at the door.

So, do signs on your property work? It varies depending on the business you’re dealing with. In short, there’s no real repercussions to ignoring it, and there’s a courtesy in following it. Door-to-door sales is a big industry, so it’s difficult to peg one core reason why salespeople choose not to follow it.

In lieu of a No Soliciting sign, a gate offers an absolute barrier against unwelcome door-to-door knockers. Crossing a gate can be a clear case of trespassing. However, as many homes cannot support a front gate, other homeowners will have to fall back on the tried and true method of politely declining someone at the door.

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