Saying Sayonara to Door- to-Door Soliciting

When I was living at home, we had the call-waiting service for the home phone, but then we got rid of it to save money. Since wegot rid of it, we could no longer screen calls to see if it was a telemarketer and had to answer the phone every time.  Depending on what I’m doing and how I’m feeling, I’ll either let them say their spiel and say I’m not interested, or say I’m not interested before they could even finish their sentence. Telemarketers must go through quite a few rejections every day, so they must be used to it.

I find telemarketers quite annoying and would never want to be one.



I find door -to- door soliciting just as annoying. No, wait, even more so.  About 99.99% of the time they are trying to sell me something I don’t want or ask for donations to a charity.  How do I even know they work for that charity? They could easily be pretending to be posing as a representative for that charity and then be off with my money to buy who knows what.

On several occasions, I have had people ring my doorbell several times in a row (which makes it sound urgent, which makes me run to the door. This is probably why they do this).I completely forget to check who it is through the peephole and quickly open the door. I am immediately disappointed to be face to face with someone holding a whole bunch of pamphlets and a clipboard. I must admit, it’s a little more intimidating for me to reject them right then and there because I am making eye contact with them.  So most of the time, I will let them say their speech and THEN I will say sorry I am not interested. I will accept their pamphlet, close the door and then toss that pamphlet into the recycling bin.

There have been a couple of occasions where people have rang the doorbell on a Sunday evening. Yes, a Sunday evening. Really?!?!?  It’s a time when most likely the person would be home because they have to work the next day. I spend most of my Sunday evening preparing for work the next day and then winding down. Unless I ordered take out and you’re the delivery person, don’t expect me to open my wallet for you.  I rarely carry cash in my wallet anyway. The donation would end up being a bunch of change, which I doubt they would want.

Another form of soliciting I’m not too keen on is when they hover near the entrance and exit of the grocery store or liquor store.  Those two areas are high traffic zones with a constant influx and efflux of shoppers.

It’s hard to avoid the solicitors there, especially when they come right up to you and block your path. I know this sounds kind of mean, but in order to avoid them, I try and strategically place myself between or behind people who have already been asked (sort of like tailgating) and make my way into the store. It would make sense for them to be stationed at the entrance, however if they position themselves by the exit, it’s more of an inconvenience for the potential donor to get their wallet out. They may have already used all their cash to pay for their groceries. They may have their hands full with groceries, making it hard for them to get their wallet out.

Before you go telling me I’m a Scrooge in the comments section, hear me out.  I donate money to organizations like the Salvation Army and Red Cross.  I donate when I want and when it is convenient for me. I’ll donate money to sponsor friends who are running/riding for a good cause. I am more likely to donate when I can get a receipt and use it for income tax purposes.  This is not really soliciting, but I will give my loose change to subway and street musicians because at least they are providing entertainment rather than just begging for money.

What are your thoughts on soliciting? Do you find it annoying?

17 thoughts on “Saying Sayonara to Door- to-Door Soliciting

  1. I right with you…the ones at the entrance to grocery stores are my least favorite. Especially when it’s the girlscouts or something like that. They send kids to scurry right up to you asking if you want to buy something. If they want to have a stand, and let people come up to the stand if they are interested that’s fine….but I don’t need to be assaulted by sales people of all ages when I’m just trying to run in and get some bananas. 🙂

    • I’m actually okay with the girl scouts. Maybe it’s because growing up I wanted to be a girl scout, but was enrolled into things like dancing and piano instead. I do have a weakness for their cookies though.

  2. I don’t mind people doing it at the grocery store…they are easy enough to say “no” to. Coming to the house is a different story. I’ve got a glass front door so they can see me coming. Seems like they always come at the worst possible time.

    • Exactly. Why do you they always come when you’re in the middle of cooking or eating dinner? We are already busy enough as it is and would like to enjoy time with our families. The last thing we want to do is be interrupted by someone hounding us for money.

  3. HA am actually going to rant about this exact thing this week! I’ve only ever spent about a year in an apartment so am used to solicitors but had one particularly annoying incident just before Easter.

    • Awesome. Great minds do think alike! Looking forward to reading your rant 🙂 Surprisingly I have only had solicitors come twice to my apartment and I lived there for a year and a half.

  4. I very rarely get door to door salespeople anymore. When I do its usually kids selling stuff for school or scouts. I don’t mind the kids because I think they are learning important skills about working hard to accomplish goals and salesmanship.

    What used to be the most annoying is religious people coming to do the door, but I haven’t seen that happen in a long time.

    • You make a very good point Andy about kids selling stuff for school and scouts. I never thought of it that way.

      I respect the fact that there are many different religions and people can practice whatever they want (mind you, there are certain so-called religions I DON’T agree with), but I do not think it’s fair for them to try and push their religion upon you by going door to door.

  5. I just don’t like the “strong sell” approach for donations… Having someone try to “sell” me anything makes me want it less. Buying a car was a pain for me, because I actually needed one but I hated being sold one.

    One of the ones I’m experiencing at work right now is that someone from work wants me to help them with their AIDs walk, which is cool, I’ll totally donate, show me the paypal link and we’ll call it a day. But they keep sending out invitations to actually walk with them and get my own sponsors for it. I may walk with them, they are cool so it might be more fun than I imagine, but I don’t want to become a solicitor myself to show my support for a coworker.

    and seriously…. do I need to respectfully decline to 4 different emails?

    I like you’re tailgating approach at the grocery store. My problem is that I usually forget when I’m leaving the grocery store that they are out there so I don’t time things right.

    • I know what you mean trying to raise money myself. I have a hard time asking other people for money for those kinds of things unless I’m really passionate about the cause. Sometimes I ‘ll donate, sometimes I won’t.

  6. I’ve lived in a development where soliciting is prohibited so I never had to deal with anyone coming to my house. But since I’ve moved into my wife’s house when we got married, I swear someone rings our doorbell on a weekly basis. The worst was back in 2012 with people coming to door asking who we were voting for and then telling who we should vote for.

    • Oh, I get really annoyed with the political solicitors.
      I’ve noticed some stores have actually put a “No Soliciting” sign on their doors. I think it’s a great idea because solicitors disrupt the flow of traffic coming in and out of the store. I feel like they create a bit of a bottleneck. I’m almost tempted to put a No Soliciting sign on my front door to see if that would drive them away.

  7. I don’t even open up the door for them. Or for anyone I don’t know. Not having a doorbell helps deter them from using that method! Back in the days before caller ID, my parents would screen phone calls by letting them go to the answering machine, then picking up if it was someone we knew.

    • The alumni office from my university used to do that ALL the time when I recently graduated and moved back home. I was like, seriously?!!? I just graduated and didn’t even have a job yet. I spent a ton of money on books and tuition to get my degree and yet you want more money?!?! Geez.

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