Skip to comments."Aggressive" Salespeople Arrested in Petaluma
Posted on 02/21/2014 10:59:05 AM PST by nickcarraway
Some overzealous salespeople were arrested after neighbors called cops.
No permit, no sale -- but a trip to jail is free.
Four people in Petaluma were arrested for selling without permits, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, after 30 people called police to complain about aggressive sales tactics -- and some suspicious behavior.
The three men and one woman arrested, none of whom were identified, were alternately selling magazine subscriptions and asking for money for charity, the newspaper reported.
They were from Oakland, San Jose, and Midland, Texas, the newspaper reported.
It was "unclear" to police on Thursday if they were associated with any legitimate company.
They were busted for lacking proper city permits, which involve a police background check. They were arrested and released with citations, the newspaper reported.
We had people ...of a particular color....get dropped off in our neighborhood and they had very aggressive tactics and a story about how buying a magazine subscription would get local kids off the street...or something. Turned out that they weren’t from here - they travel all over playing on people’s sympathies. There were many neighborhood complaints.
I won’t open my door to them anymore...although haven’t seen them for a couple of years. Maybe too many people are wise to them.
Rev 13:17 - And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Similar situation in my neighborhood. Got so bad, I had to insist these people leave. They tried to play the intimidation card, but I’m from Jersey so that can’t happen :).
When I went to the job interview, I was a little disconcerted by the forlorn-looking office, which had obviously just been set up and was located well-outside the city limits. During the interview, the new "owner" of this business tried to allay my suspicions and promised that it was legit, and then lied to me about what products they "distributed" and how they did it. I desperately needed a job at the time, and so I agreed to give him the benefit of the doubt. He told me to come back the next day and that he would assign me to a sales team.
The next morning I showed up, got my assignment, and then hooked up with a sales "manager" and another prospective candidate, and we went for a drive. The manager did not tell me or the other guy where we were going, but gave us a rough orientation about the nature of his business. Much to my shock and anger, it was peddling, which was confirmed when we reached the first town on his schedule. When we parked and got out of the car, the "manager" retrieved his products from the trunk and then directed us to follow him and pay attention. It was the start of one of the most miserable and embarrassing days of my life.
The products were a hodge-podge of cheap junk, and the manager led us from door to door, office to office, hawking this stuff using high pressure sales tactics. Being young and naive at the time, I felt like that I was trapped and could not get away, and so I continued to silently tag along as this guy did his pitching, all the while ignoring all the "No Solicitation" signs that were posted everywhere we went. The other prospect was quiet too, and obviously felt as awkward as me, based on a couple of looks we exchanged throughout that day.
During lunch, the manager left me by myself in the car while he and the other guy ordered the meals. While sitting there, I found a company manual laying on the floorboard and decided to do some speed-reading. What I discovered was both revealing and appalling. Turns out that these peddler companies are all run by some shadowy group out of Las Vegas, and that the "owners" are all former peddlers and managers who rose through the ranks in what the manual actually described as "the worst sales job in the world." It's basically a pyramid scheme in which the owners and managers have to personally buy their shoddy goods from this Las Vegas outfit, and then sell them on their own using whatever methods they can. A peddler, apparently, strives to become an "owner," who is assigned a territory but must remain mobile to avoid attracting too much law enforcement attention.
After finding out what kind of a mess I had gotten myself into, I put the manual down and resolved to make my escape at the first opportunity. When the "manager" and the other candidate returned to the car, the manger informed me that at the end of the day I would be tested on what I had learned and that I would then be "hired" full time. The test, of course, was handing his remaining goods over to me and the other guy, and letting us peddle for a while.
Fortunately, the day came to an abrupt end in the next town we went to when the local sheriff showed up and confronted the "manager," demanding to see his sales license. It was ugly, and the "manager" tried but failed to talk our way out of it. Needless to say, we got run out of town. At that point, I finally spoke up and told this guy that there was no way that I was going to do this for a living and that I was finished---take me back to my car---NOW! He tried to change my mind, indicating that he would be rewarded by the owner for making a successful recruitment if I stayed with him. I said, "No way!" and so we returned to the office, such as it was, and I jumped in my car and drove home as fast as I could, thoroughly embarrassed by the days events. Not sure what happened to the other candidate, but if he was smart, he got out too.
It's for their good and ours.
Learning experience. It sharpened your bullsh!t detector.
Oh yeah, it sure did! It was my first real step toward real world cynicism.
I find that the sales people with legitimate services (tree trimming, window replacement, etc) stand back from the door and give a polite sales pitch.
The scammers (those who want to sell magazines for some cause or seek donations) always seem to want to shake my hand first. I just stare at their extended hand until they drop it.
For a while there was a group coming around about once per year. A little internet searching revealed that it was some guy in VA running it and the company names would change every year but it was the same old scam.
In the past we have had ex cons hired by a shady contractor dressed in $2.50 company tees aggressively pushing house painting. The first time I politely asked the person to leave, the second time not so politely, when he said my house looked like shit, I and my 140 pound puppy stepped out and allowed him 20 seconds to get off the property before the trip to the hospital. I had been observing he and his cohorts casing the homes in my neighborhood and called the police who quickly removed them.
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