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Beware of aggressive door-to-door sales people, police warn

Greater Sudbury Police and the City of Greater Sudbury are warning residents to beware of aggressive, door-to-door sales people pushing long-term contracts on homeowners.
Greater Sudbury Police are searching for three men who were allegedly involved in a home invasion on Kathleen Street July 7. Supplied photo.

 Greater Sudbury Police and the City of Greater Sudbury are warning residents to beware of aggressive, door-to-door sales people pushing long-term contracts on homeowners.

“(We) have received complaints in the past week of aggressive salespersons in the area, representing a company called Just Energy,” police said in a release Wednesday. “Just Energy does not have a licence to conduct business in the Greater Sudbury area.”

Police advice anyone caring for seniors or vulnerable adults to educate themselves about the risks of falling to pressure tactics from door-to-door salespeople.

In the past, some of the high pressure tactics used included:

- Advising that they are licenced to conduct business in the area;

- That they will continue to come back until you let them in;

- They insist on seeing your last heating bill;

- That you will be reported if you do not let them in;

- That your provider is going out of business and they are now taking over those contracts.

“None of this is true,” police said. “You are well within your rights to refuse them entry and to tell them to leave your property immediately. If they fail to leave, they can be charged with trespassing.”

Residents are reminded to be vigilant with people going door-to-door offering any type of service or sales and claiming to represent a particular company. When any salesperson does a cold call at your residence, always ask for credentials of the company and identification from the salesperson, police advise.

“Be mindful that some of them will look professional and are very convincing,” the release said. “Unless you have called for a specific service provider, feel free to tell the individuals you are not interested in the services or products they are offering.

“If a Just Energy salesperson shows up at your door, ask them to leave. If there is any aggressive pressure or behaviour, you are encouraged to call police (705-675-9171 or 911 if urgent) or the city's bylaw office (311). The members of the Greater Sudbury Police Service are committed to providing quality policing in partnership with our community.”

Legitimate door-to-door salespeople will be able to provide the following:

- Salespeople must have a photo ID license from the city to conduct door-to-door sales of any products or services.

- Licensed door-to-door salespeople are required to obtain a police clearance to conduct business and cannot be operating before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

- Ask salespeople for their full company name, location and phone number. Ask them to leave a copy of the sales contract and any other product or warranty information for you to review carefully on your own – do not feel pressured to agree to a service or to sign any document.

- If you find someone conducting door-to-door sales without a license, call 311 and ask for the bylaw department or the licensing officer.

- If you are not interested in hearing a sales presentation or purchasing an item, request that the salesperson leave your property and tell them to record your address on their “do not solicit” list.

- If the salesperson refuses to leave your property, call the police immediately.

- The fine for conducting door-to-door sales without a license is a maximum of $5,000 (bylaw 2004-350).