Every year during the summer months, we hear from community members about door to door solicitors. Most are legitimate but some are not. Sometimes home burglars masquerade as door to door salespeople. We have seen a significant number of cases where the thieves knock at the door and when no one answers they go around to the back and break in. If someone does come to the door they make an offer to sell something and leave quickly. We urge people to use caution when dealing with door to door sales people.
In Auburn Hills the word “solicitor” means a person who takes or attempts to take orders for merchandise while moving from place to place. A solicitor is required to be licensed by the City and the license must be displayed. There are some exceptions to the solicitor ordinance:
- Persons engaged in the sale of daily or weekly newspapers or milk delivery licensed under state law, or operating concessions which are, as regulated by the city zoning ordinance, accessory uses to the principal permitted use of the property on which they are located;
- Temporary event concessionaires and temporary event sponsors that are in compliance with the requirements of section 22-110 and who are sponsoring, conducting and/or participating in a city approved and permitted temporary event;
- Persons, entities, corporations and/or organizations participating in a city sponsored event and/or an event that the city is one of the co-sponsors of.
- Door-to-door canvassers are people who are representatives of a non-profit organization or agency and, who, in that capacity and solely as a benefit to the agency or organization, call at the homes of residents for the purpose of soliciting contributions and/or collecting signatures, distributing information or seeking volunteers. Door-to-door canvassers include persons engaged in noncommercial, religious canvassing and persons engaged in the distribution of handbills and/or pamphlets, signed or unsigned, political or otherwise.
Here are some suggestions when dealing with door to door solicitors:
- Ask to see their license.
- Think carefully about letting them into your house or giving too much personal information.
- If their sales tactics make you feel uncomfortable, ask them to leave.
- A license from the City does not suggest any guarantee or reliability of the goods or services. It merely says that we have registered them.
If you have any concern about this type of contact, we strongly suggest that people contact us at our non emergency number of 248.370.9444 at the time. If you wait to contact us, chances are very good that we may be unable to find them again and so cannot investigate them.
Sometimes I hear from people that they don’t want to “bother” us. Requests from citizens to investigate a suspicious situation are not a bother. You could be preventing a crime. Give us a chance to investigate and find out who the solicitors are and make sure that they are properly licensed.