Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I read with interest your article about scammers, panhandlers and aggressive door-to-door sales persons in Monday’s Bulletin. I avoid panhandlers, but people who come to your door are more difficult to ignore. I don’t envy anyone who makes their living selling products or services door-to-door, so I’ve always tried to be polite and listen to their spiel, and then thanked them but told them that I wasn’t interested. Even though I’ve occasionally had to deal with some very rude and aggressive sales persons showing up, that has been my approach... until last year.
One afternoon, I answered the door to find a young woman who was selling a carpet cleaning service. I listened to her sales pitch, and then thanked her but said that I cleaned my own carpets and was not interested and wished her good luck. She appeared to take my lack of interest personally, and turned on her heel and stormed off, muttering to herself. The next morning when I went out, I noticed that someone had keyed the hood of my truck. I had washed it a few days before, and it hadn’t been out of the driveway since, so I assumed that the young woman had done it.
After that experience, I’ve made it a policy to not engage door-to-door sales people at all. I just don’t answer the door. The last thing that I would do, and would caution anyone else to do, would be to confront an aggressive sales person or call the cops in their presence. They know where you live, and you know nothing about them, often not even who their employer is: Unfortunately being polite and treating them like a fellow human being isn’t enough sometimes if they can’t separate you from your money.
And finally, if an edgy young woman selling carpet cleaning services shows up on your door step some afternoon give her a face full of pepper spray for me.