Door-to-door solicitations raise concerns

Published 5:51 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In the last few weeks, reports of door-to-door solicitations regarding home security alarms have come in to law enforcement, city officials and even the newspaper.

However, even though companies may have business licenses to provide their security services to the area, they do not have permission from the City of Troy to sell alarm systems door-to-door.

“Absolutely not,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “There has been no house-to-house solicitation approved by the city.”

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At the April 10 city council meeting, a company representing ADT stood before the council and was denied permission to visit residential homes in an attempt to solicit business.

A city ordinance states that there is to be no door-to-door selling of any goods or services inside the city limits unless a business has obtained permission from the city. Since the code was written, the city has never allowed an exception to it.

“We’ve had to send the police out,” Lunsford said. “If they come to your door, call the police.”

Troy Police Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said Troy residents on Orion Street, Henderson Highway, Fairview Street, Shiloh Lane, Meadows Lane and other parts of the city have reported that an individual who claimed to be from ADT with a work identification badge and company shirt came to their home.

Scarbrough said, even though someone may legitimately work for ADT or be an ADT contractor, they don’t have a permit or license to sell Troy residents anything at their home.

“Never let the person in,” Scarbrough said. “You don’t even have to answer the door. And please call us so we can try to stop this from happening. We want to work with the community.”

While there is no such law to stop businesses from visiting homes outside the city limits, Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said that it is better to be safe than sorry.

“Call immediately if you are unsure,” Thomas said.

Thomas said deputies are accustomed to meeting with solicitors to make certain they are legitimate business representatives. If they don’t have a license from the Pike County Probate Judge’s Office to operate in the county, deputies will request that they go and take care of that paperwork.

“If they can’t provide proof and won’t comply, we don’t allow them to stay here,” Thomas said.

Thomas warned Pike County residents to be certain of who they let in their homes. He said the sheriff’s department has investigated cases where salesmen were let in houses and when they left, homeowners found valuables, cash or wallets missing when they were gone.

“Especially in this day and time when there are so many scams out there,” Thomas said, “call us. We’ll come out.”