Neighbors worry about aggressive door-to-door sales

Neighbors worry about aggressive door-to-door sales »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Neighbors are expressing worry about door-to-door sales people being too aggressive. They're pitching some cleaning products, and it's the same group Eyewitness News investigated last year. But, the group seems to be back in town.

A woman in southwest Bakersfield said the sales lady came to her door at about Tuesday at 6 p.m.

"That person pushed herself into the door, just started looking around about three times," the resident said.

The resident did not want to be identified, saying she is still shaken by the encounter. She said her son had opened the door, and the sales lady just about barged inside.

"The person was trying to sell some cleaning product," the resident said. "After telling the person we weren't interested, the person got a little angry and aggressive."

Another neighbor said he also approached, but the man selling the product was nice.

"He said he was still going to school," Tom Chisum told Eyewitness News. "He was married, had one (child) on the way. I guess he had gotten out of prison for drugs at one time."

Chisum said his wife was impressed with the cleaning products, and they bought three bottles for $120. He also said the products did a great job removing some rust and oil stains on the driveway.

Chisum also had a brochure for the Advanage Wonder Cleaners that came with the bottles of cleaner. The materials say the products are biodegradable and nontoxic. It also said the company hires specifically for sales staff.

"For over 25 years, Austin Diversified Products Inc. has been recruiting young people from the inner cities of America to help them build careers and earn a living," the brochure says. "Along with sales training, Austin helps prepare these young Americans for a productive future by instilling in them disciplines they need to cope with life and its uncertainties."

The brochure lists T&B Sales Inc. out of Jonesboro. Bakersfield City Treasurer Cheryl Perkins told Eyewitness News a company by that name got a city business license and tax certificate on February 23. Perkins said the company listed their address as Riverdale, Ga.

The treasurer said the company also filled out a form required by the city for door-to-door sales. Under city rules, any solicitation like that must show what date door-to-door sales will start and end. City Attorney Ginny Gennaro said solicitors are only allowed to do this type of sales for 90 days.

Companies doing sales like this must also provide the city with information on the names, driver's licenses, and social security numbers for each solicitor. Door-to-door solicitation can not be done after 8 p.m. or before 8 a.m.

Eyewitness News made a call to the number the company provided to the city, and left a message when no one answered.

Another neighbor in southwest Bakersfield was also concerned about his encounter with one of the T&B sales people.

"She had a spray bottle in her hand, and she tried to step in, spray my tile, and at that time I stepped forward," the man said. He also didn't want to be identified.

"I told her, you shouldn't be going to people's homes like this, being aggressive like that."

This neighbor finally got the woman to leave, and said about ten minutes later he saw Bakersfield police questioning the man who was selling the products nearby.

Det. Fred Calvillo said police got two calls Tuesday night about the T&B solicitors. He said officers questioned the man, determined there was a city business license issued for the group, and let the man go.

But, the woman neighbor who had been approached by the female sales person was still worried. She saw the group's big van going up and down her street. So, she took her two children and went to spend the night in a hotel.

"I guess the more I think about it, I felt very violated and scared for my family," she said.

The resident said she wants other people to be careful with these solicitors, or anyone who may come to the door.

"You have to be careful in you you really open the door to."