http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/index.php?i=3&d=&t=2540


Town Square

Solicitors for "magazine subscriptions" out in Meadow Park neighborhood

Original post made by natasha, Meadow Park, on Nov 2, 2007

A solicitor just came to my door with a long sad tale about how she was once a teen mom and is working for some sort of cash credits in some program to become an occupational therapist. She is very blonde and has blue eyes, t-shirt, etc. She tried the usual scam of handing me some sort of petition that my "neighbors" had signed (none of whose names I recognizezd) and finally got to the pitch about selling magazine subscriptions. She gave me wide eyed innocence about needing a permit, because she's "just trying to better" herself. I've reported her to the police. Just wanted to let people know the scam is still going strong.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 2, 2007 at 6:31 pm

ha! I love the ones that tell me that they have been accepted to Stanford, but might not be able to attend because they cannot afford the tuition. So... they are selling magazines. Once you start questioning them, the story falls apart quickly.

Did they have a solicitation permit? If not, call PAPD. They are quick to respond.

qq


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent of a Gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:03 pm

We now have a "no solicitors" sign. If anyone were to solicit allegedly to fund their education, I could point out that they need to go back to the lower grades first, because their reading capability is lacking.

I personally don't believe ANY of these door-to-door magazine pitches (and others: cleaning solution pitches, educational book pitches, etc.) that have occurred over the past years are NOT scams. And no one has ever yet been able to provide me with a solicitation permit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:22 am

The sad thing aabout this long standing scam is that it takes young folk with dishonest promises of the earning potential, then moves them far from home to keep them from quiting in the face of impossible quotas and abusive crew chiefs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent of a Gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:49 am

That's a good point, Walter_W_Wallis. I've read of that before. Is there a local philanthropic or social organization we can refer these folk to for help in getting away from their bosses and ultimately returning home?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent of a Gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:50 am

Apologies, I meant "Walter_E_Wallis"... keyboard typo...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2007 at 7:37 am

Give the Salvation Army a shot, but any church should be up to it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2007 at 9:43 am

I had a "no solicitors" sign by my front door, it had absolutely no effect, so I finally removed it.

What bothers me more about unsolicited salespersons coming to my front door, is that they may be casing your property to see if you're home. If not, are they looking for ways to break in?






 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2007 at 12:07 pm

I REALLY don't want door to door solicitors. I always check before opening my front door and I recommend eveyone else realize you are not required to open your door to a stranger who is standing there!

I don't believe most solicitors are legitimate and I choose not to/will not buy from such a person in such a manner. Wherever I have lived, I have put up a small but visible no solicitors sign. This means if they keep knocking/ringing, you can just say through your door "no solicitors." This is supposed to have some meaning, in that they HAVE to go away and if they don't you are entitled to phone the police. In one Bay Area city near here, I actually had added "...police will be called" because the problem of harrassing homeowners was so extreme.

I think certain neighborhoods get on a list, and all the solicitors come through there. So, if you don't want these people cruising through your neighborhood, it helps if your neighbors don't buy the magazines, etc.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PA_resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 8:02 pm

It is disappointing to hear that "No Soliciting" signs are being ignored. Why can't there be a "Do Not Knock" list just like the "Do Not Call" list? We get everyone knocking at our doors: Jehovah's Witnesses, political activists, magazine sellers, the "we-are-at-your-neighbors" deals, etc. The only door-to-door that I make an exception for are kids, but I worry about the kids and their safety doing this. I wish organizations like Girl Scouts would stick to selling outside supermarkets.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shannon
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 6, 2007 at 10:51 am

We used to have a sign over the doorbell that said "If we don't know you and you're carrying a clipboard, don't ring this bell" ....it worked pretty well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Trevor
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 14, 2008 at 7:10 pm

I would like to see a Munical Code sign like this one for MtnView/PA/etc...


Web Link

"Roseville Municipal Code 10.36.030: It is unlawful for any
person to solicit orders for, to peddle or to hawk goods, services or
merchandise or to conduct any charitable or other solicitation at
any house or residence when a sign in clear view has been placed
prohibiting such solicitation or peddling"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by professorville neighbor
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 19, 2009 at 6:06 pm

It's a sign of summer; they're back in force, today was "trying to earn points in a national leadership contest by selling magazines."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ilana Sheats
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2010 at 5:53 pm

For the first time in my life I feel bad for people going door to door. I have lived in my Palo Alto my whole life and graduated from Paly last year and am now a UCSC student. I am an intern for College Works Painting (yes a legitimate business that google will inform you employs college students in 13 states). I am running my own business and since no one knows anything about the fact that my business exists, I have to go door to door. Palo Alto has recently been hit by scammers and so I've gotten the cops called on me this weekend before I can even blurt out that all I want to do is give them a free estimate on their home.

Still don't fall for the magazine scam people, but please be more polite to those of us on the other side of the door, they might actually be telling the truth... Just obviously ask them to verify it.