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Stay Away From My Door…


Oh god no....

 Good morning everyone.

Yesterday I had another one of those dreaded experiences – a door-to-door solicitor (not the British type). I was immersed in doing some of the nameless things that I do to keep body and soul together, and there is a knock at the door. I didn’t hear the ‘thump’ of the UPS man slamming down a package with all of his strength, so I knew it was someone who wanted to talk with me. With any luck it would be one of my neighbors that doesn’t yet curse my existence, and it would be a short interruption. No luck – it was some unknown young man with an armful of binders and documents in plastic sleeves. This fool is going to try to weasel money out of me. Sigh…

The young man had an accent so heavy that, other than he was from the Czech Republic and in the US in order to do something, I couldn’t understand him. Attempting to be polite, I had the wife come to the door to see what the young man wanted. She spoke with him for a couple of minutes, then with some difficulty, ended the conversation and got the door shut. She couldn’t figure out what he was talking about either after listening to him for over two minutes (I timed it), other than it may or may not have involved children, and she was very creeped out by the guy. She went around the house to make sure all of the doors were locked afterwards. Clearly that guy needs to work on his patter.

I utterly loathe door-to-door solicitations, visitations, and attempts to save me from Hellfire, and if I could do it without being arrested, I would install a system that would transport said intruders, especially the religious ones, to the Sinai desert so that they could get closer to their God and/or a new customer base.

So how about you lot? Do you enjoy people banging on your door to weasel money out of you? Who are your favourite moochers? Do you have any good anti-weasel tactics to share?

  • $kaycog

    I dislike strangers ringing my doorbell, so I had a "peep hole" installed. If I don't know the person, I simply don't open the door.

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    • OA5599

      Be sure you acknowledge the other person so they know someone is home and ignoring them. Cops have told me burglars sometimes pose as salesmen to find unoccupied houses to break into.

      • dcs

        You don't have to make an effort to obviously ignore them if you have enough cams. Then you can see if they try and circle around back right from your recliner and take appropriate measures.

        It's kinda sad, but aside from a few exceptions when a neighbor stopped by (which I could count on one hand, and none of which were very important) a knock on the door not preceded by a call or text indicating an impending visit is NEVER someone I actually want to talk to. Makes me want to build a new house with no door on the front at all. Just a small porch on which sits a box marked DELIVERIES attached to the house with a lockable hatch for retrieving the parcels from inside.

        Perhaps front doors will follow spacious front porches into the realm of quaint architectural nod to the past rarely included in new home construction.

  • CaptianNemo2001

    Only the Mormons give me any religious related trouble… I even live right next to some Mormons but they, unlike the door to door ones, have never ever promoted their religion. Which is great since the last time the Mormons came around i got into religious arguments about how the Bible was just a book of stories written by many unknown persons and how the stories all had respectful meanings but that they should not be taken for fact and the guy just kept flipping through his book and tried to counter and cite passages as we argued…

    So rule 1 don't get into argument just say no thank you and lock the door.
    Rule 2 have back up on speed dial .

  • Rottweilers seem to work pretty good at keeping people away. Back when I had mine, I came home one day to find the front blinds in disarray, a few days later I noticed a copy of The Watchtower thrown on the front porch ( I usually came and went from the garage or back door). A week or so later my dad happened to be over and noticed the Jehovah's Witnesses next door, they passed by my house and kept going.

    Now with three dogs and a baby in the house I don't even bother to answer the door half the time. Often it is kids begging for money for whatever activity they are involved in and I sort of fell like I have to buy some of their overpriced crap to not be the bad neighbor.

  • My earlier approach isn't just seasonal:

  • GlassOnion9

    For religious solicitation, we usually go with the "Sorry, we're Jewish" approach. Usually hard for them to criticize, since it is the origin of most of their religions.

    Having two fairly large dogs in the house (both of which are sweet and would happily lick and play with any actual intruders) helps, too.

    Once, a solicitor came to the door when I wasn't home and my wife went to answer. At that point, both dogs ran to the door and she had to hold them back by their collars. The salesman apparently got quite nervous and asked if they bite. My wife said "sometimes". The guy left.
    Of course, they're the least likely dogs to bite anyone. They were just excited to make a new friend.

    • I've found that "No, I'm not Christian. I'm Catholic." leaves nearly anyone nonplussed. Then I close the door.

      This works for much more than just religious solicitation. Feel free to try it on political canvassers, too.

      • The Professor

        Another one that works well is "I'm a Druid and I've been washed in the blood of a tree."

      • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        I've found the best way to get them to leave is to "not even be wrong." Like when two young well dressed LDS men came by. "Oh I'm sorry, I'm not interested in Evangelical religions." They just don't know what to say. I should try that on the canvassers too.

  • OA5599

    Generally, when an out of area number pops up on caller ID, especially when it's a toll-free number, it's a telemarketer wishing to chat. When we see those numbers on the screen, we let my son answer the phone. Invariably, they will ask to speak to his mom or dad, at which point he'll break into a sales pitch for scout popcorn or some other item. He has standing instructions not to stop until the caller either gives him a credit card number or hangs up. So far, they've all hung up. Usually they give in within 30 seconds, but I think he hooked one for more than 5 minutes.

    • jeepjeff

      That's an awesome tactic for telemarketer chicken.

  • CaptianNemo2001

    NICE i like that idea.

  • alex

    On the phone: "Oh, my wife and I have allocated all of our charitable giving for this year. thank you so much for your call." Hang up immediately.

    For the door: I open slowly and as the pitch begins, say "Sorry. I have no interest." And close the door. Do not answer any question.

  • We rarely open the door when someone knocks. We actually did the other day when we saw it was someone with a comcast badge. He offered us a great upgrade and we bit. Switched our phone and internet for the bundle. Now we get faster tube access, no charge for long distance and a DVR (our first) and the HBO package (yeah Game of Thrones!). All for about $30 less (even after introductory rate expires) than we were paying for basic cable and DSL through the phone company.

    • The Professor

      I used to use Comcast for internet access and cable, up until they decided that I was using too much bandwidth and cut off my internet. When I called to find out what was going on, the female 'customer service' tech told me straight out that I was a spammer and my internet account was cancelled for a year, no appeals. Naturally, I no longer use Comcast for anything, and I never will again.
      You might want to be a little wary of those bastards.

      • I was aware of their data caps. I haven't run in to that yet. I do need to get something to monitor my usage independantly.

        • Also they are the only choice besides DSL for in our area.

          • The Professor

            I went to DSL after Comcast and haven't looked back. It's just as fast and about half the price. But, you have to go with what's available.

          • Is the DSL working out okay for your spamming, then?

          • The Professor

            That was rather uncharitable of you. I'm not now, or ever have been a spammer. I do transfer large amounts of data, primarily streaming video.

            /bleah to you.

          • My apologies. It's just that I thought I'd read that somewhere from a reputable source….


          • The Professor

            You think a Comcast flack is a reliable source? Well then, have I got a deal for you! I can get you a killer price on some great beachfront property in Nevada. There's a subway station nearby and the property even borders the Blackrock desert….

            /I wondered who would be the first to run with the spammer reference

          • CaptianNemo2001

            I've got a bridge I can sell you… Comes with a late Victorian era design and excellent vistas of the surrounding area from the tops of the towers…

          • BobTheBuilder

            Is it this one? They sold it once already 🙂

          • Well, if it's a choice between believing Comcast or believing a known spammer….

          • The Professor

            Oh, I give up.
            [youtube anwy2MPT5RE youtube]

          • The Professor

            That would be right after finals scores are posted.

  • My favorite door-to-door incident is the time that the Jehovah's Witnesses visited the home of one of my high-school classmates. Apparently they weren't aware that her dad was the pastor of the church next door. Talk about bringing a knife to a gun fight…