In today’s age of technology, going door to door offering services should be a thing of the past. Yet, businesses still engage this privacy-violating act on a regular basis.
It’s a fact many people don’t like confrontation and have a more difficult time saying ‘no’ to someone in person than over the phone or on the internet. However, it’s reached a point that those people who are going door to door are ignoring a very basic sign, found on many homes: No Soliciting
I arrived in California and my first job here was selling products door to door. That was 21-years ago and times have definitely changed. I was actually instructed to ignore the ‘No Soliciting’ signs. Just because someone isn’t selling an exact item, it doesn’t excuse them from being a solicitor. Are they taking up the person’s time? Then, they are soliciting time; if nothing else.
What seems to elude companies that utilize this tactic is there are some very legitimate reasons to respect someone’s privacy; esp. on their own property:
- Sleep habits – Perhaps someone works evenings, perhaps a child is napping
- Illness – Having had cancer and know the exhausting effects of chemotherapy. Not everyone wants to answer the door. If they are resting, it’s rude to disrupt them.
- Animals – Not all animals react well to people knocking on their door or ringing the bell.
I have two dogs. I have notices posted for delivery personnel not to ring the bell. I have another notice as you walk up to the house to STOP; unless you’re a first responder. Everyone who’s invited to my home knows to call or text me when they arrive because I greet them at the door so as to not set my dogs off. That one act is the only reason they fight.
Yesterday, I had to break up a dog fight because someone could’t read (or ignored it). After I got the dogs separated, I stepped outside, embraced my NY roots and laid into the clipboard-holding person who thought my signage wasn’t legit. He never got a word in edgewise. I’m sure the entire neighborhood heard me kick him off my porch and I can almost guarantee, he’ll never be back. It was completely avoidable, but he chose to think he was an exception.
More companies need to realize this is not a legitimate form of sales fundraising, political reasoning, religious outreach, etc. If you insist on using this old-fashioned form of contact, please instill in those in your service that are not to disturb those homes who have clearly noted they are not to be disturbed. You’re intentions may be good, but privacy trumps profit, in this case.