It’s 8:30PM. The kids are in bed. You’re watching TV. The curtains are closed. It’s dark outside. And then it happens: that “familiar” knock at the door. You know the one…only friends and family use it. You look at your partner in surprise (or if you’re alone, jump out of your skin) because you weren’t expecting anyone. And who comes over unannounced anymore? What is this, 1987? We have iPhones and text messages.
You peek outside, and what do you see? Two young men in dark clothing standing on your porch. Would you answer the door? Not on your life. So they knock again. And when you don’t answer this time, they knock harder. You’re about to call 911 when they walk away and do the same thing at your neighbor’s house. Ahhhh…Solicitors!
But what happens when you do answer the door? I’ll tell you. As soon as you open the door, you are greeted with “I’m not trying to sell you anything.” Really? Then why are you here? They then go into a number of different scenarios. My personal favorite is the “we’re doing work on your neighbor’s house and wanted to give everyone this limited time opportunity to schedule an estimate while we’re here.” My neighbor’s house, huh? Which neighbor? One of the few neighbors I have, the houses of which I can see from here, none of whom are actually having work done? I call bullshit on that one. Or another common intro is: “We were walking by and could see that you had such and such damage to your home, and we’re here to offer you a free estimate.” Oh, you’re referring to the brand new roof we just put on? Or the brand new gutters? And when you tell them that you just had that work done, they proceed to argue with you that you clearly did not, and if you did, you had a bad contractor because they can see from the street how it is in desperate need of repair.
The best part is the insistence that they have NO business cards, NO fliers, and NO phone number for you to take. No, they are here for a limited-time, special opportunity, and you have to make your appointment right now! Really? You’re a reputable company but you don’t have anything to offer me? And I can’t do business with you unless I make an appointment right now on my front porch?
I used to answer the door. It got old. Some days during the late spring and early summer, I’d get 4 different solicitors a day! By the 3rd or 4th, my fuse was a little short. I’ve answered the door, and upon hearing the pitch, say “I’m not interested” and close the door. Only to have the SOB knock again! That’s right, after hearing me say I wasn’t interested, they immediately knocked on my door again! I had another bloke scream and yell at me through the door after I shut it in his face! And heaven freakin’ forbid if I don’t answer the door! I’ve actually had people stay on my porch and knock for a full 2 minutes. I had another guy walk around my house and look in the windows. One guy had the audacity to shout “I know you’re in there!” Are you kidding me?
How dare I not answer the door! Is there some rule or law that says I am required to? And when did this carpet-bagger, traveling salesman thing come back into fashion? Why are these companies (1) hiring young folks – teenagers sometimes – to walk neighborhoods and knock on random doors; (2) having them do so when it is dark outside; (3) telling them to lie to their potential customers; (4) allowing them to be obnoxious? Why is this OK? Am I in the minority here?
While we were sitting on the couch reading to our son this evening, a Capital Meats truck drove into our neighborhood and stopped directly in front of our house. He got out, walked right up do our door (saw us sitting inside), knocked twice, got back into the truck and drove out of our neighborhood. What? We’ve never ordered from them before. They drove right to our house and then right back out of the neighborhood again. What the hell kind of targeting is this? (Capital Meats was recently in the news for targeting and assaulting folks in their homes).
So no…I don’t answer the door anymore. And I love that I have huge picture windows that they can see me inside not doing so with.