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Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 October 2016 16:23

Buyer Beware!

Your doorbell rings on a lazy Saturday afternoon. You open your front door and observe a stranger with a smile and a sales pitch.  "Hello, I'm with ABC Company, and I'm here to sell you X,Y,and Z!"

Now, what should you do?

First, ask to see their City Of Pullman Itinerant Vendor Permit. If the person can't show you a currently valid permit for whatever reason (their "supervisor" has it, they left it in the car, etc.), do not do business with them! Shut the door and report them to the Pullman Police Department. Pullman City Code requires that anyone who wants to go door-to-door within City limits must first obtain a current permit and keep it on their person while engaging in their business.  See image of a sample permit at right.

Secondly, if they do have a permit, make sure you know what that actually means. A valid itinerant vendor permit is not an endorsement of the business by the City of Pullman! It only means that the company has completed the City permit process and individuals have passed a limited criminal background investigation. This process does not include a recommendation from the Better Business Bureau. You, as the customer, are still responsible for evaluating the companies that you do business with.

Finally, the Pullman Police Department recommends some general safety tips: 

  1. Never let anyone inside your home that you do not know. 
  2. Don't share personal information with anyone.
  3. Be cautious on giving out banking information or credit card information to people you don't know.
  4. Use common sense.  Ask for identification, and a copy of their business license.
  5. If you are home alone, or do not plan on purchasing their merchandise or service, do not allow them to enter the home. 
  6. If you are interested in their products or service, but question whether the deal is a scam, it is wise to re-schedule at a later time.  This allows you time to get in touch with the business and confirm that they are an authorized representative, offering a legitimate product.
  7. Talk with minor children and remind them that they should never open the door for a stranger, ever.
  8. Contact your local law enforcement agency to let them know that a salesman is operating in your neighborhood. Provide them with as much information as possible, including company name, vehicle and physical descriptions.

As always, the buyer should "Beware!"