What to know before answering your door


We've seen these kinds of rip-offs in the Houston area. Now the peddlers are pushing different kinds of products.

A knock at the door recently interrupted Gretchen Kennedy while she was working from home. When she opened it, she saw two young men on her porch.

"They said that they were selling magazines and I said I wasn't interested and I said that I declined several times," Kennedy recalled.

She finally caved in because they said it would help charter schools. But the magazine never arrived.

"It angers me that, that someone would do, pull the fundraising card," she said.

She fell victim to one of the latest door-to-door sales scams out there.

Carrie Hurt with the Better Business Bureau explained, "They will normally try to pull at your heart strings, pull at your purse strings."

The number of complaints the Better Business Bureau received about door-to-door sales more than doubled in a year.

Hurt said, "They will use something like, you know, using the safety of your family, your home isn't safe."

Elliott Shouse knows that tactic. Unemployed in a bad economy, he took a job selling windows door to door. He says he quit after the first day. That's because he says the sales instructor suggested:

"Go into the kids' rooms and if the windows didn't open to tell the people that their kids would die if they didn't buy these products," Shouse said.

The newest door-to-door products racking up complaints:

  • Security systems
  • Produce and meats
  • Cosmetics
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Photography sales
  • Magazines
The best advice if someone knocks on your door trying to sell you something is to take their business card, research the company and its products. Tell them you'll call them back if you want to do business.

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