Unfair bashing of Door-to-Door Sales Reps

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
18 replies 1.5K views
funkmaster_2funkmaster_2 Forumite
139 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I would like to take issue with Martin's crusade against door-to-door sales people.

Whilst I am not defending the indefensible, i.e. those who lie about the prices and deals on offer, surely we must respect those who do a professional, competent job and not tar them all with the same brush.

It is impossible to be given the wrong prices, as they are written on a legal contract. Check your contract and if you don't like it then cancel. If you don't want to sign up there are then, simply ask them to come back again. There are people in the world who will sign anything - perhaps they should realise the power of their signature on a legal document. It's too easy to say "I was bullied " when actually they mean "I was baffled and didn't like to say anything".

Martin encourages people to save money by switching suppliers and whilst obviously the internet is the best medium, not everyone has internet access .Door knocking sales people are another way of people getting the cheapest gas & electricity available.

I am not, nor ever have been, a sales rep - whether it be telesales or door to door.


  • GlennTheBakerGlennTheBaker Forumite
    3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    I'm sure there are also some excellent Market Researchers but the fact is they, like door-to-door salespeople, are bloody irritating. Walking through Derby city centre is sometimes akin to doing the Krypton Factor assault course just to try and avoid them.
    This space has been intentionally left blank
  • Joe_BloggsJoe_Bloggs Forumite
    4.5K Posts
    I have just thought of a new product that could be sold via the doorstep. An integrated fine print magnifier and legal dictionary. Never be caught out again by the catch all fine print. Confront the swindling con artist before they can take one step into your home. Built in CS spray and panic alarm button.

    Why prey on people door to door when you can prey upon them inside/outside the supermarket or post office.
  • If you mean that people get conned by the small print then don't switch. Stay with British Gas or whoever. Don't try to get better prices. Say no.

    It amazes me how many people who make a pigs ear of something like switching suppliers blame everything except their own ignorance. If you don't know exactly what you're doing, don't do it. Simple. No danger of being ripped off. I tend not to perform open heart surgery because I don't know how to. Yes, the argument could be that switching gas suppliers, unlike performing open heart surgery, should be available to and understandable by all and not just those au fait with the internet or up to speed with gas and elctricuty prices and contracts. THAT IS WHAT THE SALES PEOPLE ARE FOR. IF THEY WEREN'T THERE PEOPLE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SWITCH.
  • mrticklemrtickle Forumite
    187 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    In my opinion there can be no "unfair" bashing of door-to-door sales in any field, whether it be energy suppliers or clothes-peg sellers. They are all scum who prey on the weak and vulnerable and invade everyone's privacy. They should get proper jobs.
  • Paul_VarjakPaul_Varjak Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    I have never understood the expression AN ENGLISHMAN'S HOME IS HIS CASTLE.

    If that was correct, why is it that people seem more gulllible when salesman arrive at their doorstep offering unsolicited goods/services?

    If you doubt this premise, then why is it that when entering a contract in your home you are allowed a 7-day cooling-off period in the case of unsolicited sales?

    There are two ways to deal with door-to-door salesman:

    1. Just say sorry you're not interested and politely shut door OR

    2. If you wish to play games invite them in, give them a cup of tea and keep talking to them (making sure they don't get a word in edgewise) until they get so fedup that they want to leave - this method also works very well with Jehovah's Witnesses!
  • The problem with saying you're not interested is that they have spent much of their training learning ways to overcome this situation!

    I was visited by a very persistent salesman from npower. He told me lies about the contract he was wanting me to sign and made it look very inviting - anyone could have easily been taken in.

    Immediately after eventually convincing him I was a "lost hope" I phoned npower and was surprised to discover that they have a dedicated department to take complaints about their door to door salesmen and investigate them. This involved me answering their proforma of questions regarding the visit and identifying the salesman by asking for his description - crimewatch style (age, height, etc)!

    I was even more surprised to subsequently discover that the salesman in question had actually put my contract through (presumably by helpfully signing it on my behalf!).

    According to npower the "individual concerned was immediately prevented from representing npower until appropriate disciplinary action was taken"
  • Lewis_GerolemouLewis_Gerolemou Forumite
    134 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hello Smartasss, whilst I believe what you said about the salesman is true, how is it possible to forge an application to change suppliers without your personal details and in particular your supply/meter numbers, or have I missed something?
    Lewis Gerolemou.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
    27.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    how is it possible to forge an application to change suppliers without your personal details and in particular your supply/meter numbers, or have I missed something?

    I am not sure what personal details are required but you can fairly easily get names and addresses out of bins (I rip mine up these days and don't put any details in the recycling).

    If these are on the meter then you just need one of those plastic yellow keys.

    I guess getting old electricity and gas bills out of the rubbish would save you the hassle of going to the meters.

    An awful lot of people just throw their personal details in the bin.

    Don't sound like it's too difficult.
  • SmartasssSmartasss Forumite
    873 Posts
    Lewis asked:
    how is it possible to forge an application to change suppliers without your personal details and in particular your supply/meter numbers

    I wonder why you want to know this, Lewis? I trust not for any nefarious activity (we know you are involved in signing people up to a utility supplier!) ;);)

    To answer the specific question, this npower rep had a print out, (for all the houses in the road), with all those details already on it - maybe they have that info as they were the original suppliers (under a previous name) before deregulation came along!

    Though it seems there are ways and means:

    This is taken from the save on your bills website:
    One of the most off-putting for people have been the number of horror stories, centring around commission-hungry salesmen.
    In a case earlier this year, a salesman admitted forging signatures of 43 contracts and switched homeowners to a new supplier without their knowledge

    In another incident, a consumer was told that her company was being taken over by Southern Electric, asked to sign and provide her bank details to the representative to ensure she benefited from cheaper prices. She signed in good faith, despite repeatedly telling the sales agent she did not wish to transfer from her existing supplier

    This one from MSN Money:
    Those who do complain to Citizens Advice Bureaux tell dreadful stories. One Yorkshire woman had her signature forged eight times by the same fuel supplier. Another spent a year trying to sort out a contract with a forged signature, and was treated for stress.
  • They are all scum who prey on the weak and vulnerable and invade everyone's privacy. They should get proper jobs.

    They speak very highly of you too I'm sure :-X

    I'm not going to waste everyone's time arguing the point, especially not with you mr tickle (I guess you're one of the thickos who can't say no).

    Just wanted even the balance - these are people earning a living just like everyone else. They probably don't want to do the job but have to to pay the bills. They deserve more respect than they are sometimes given on here.

    If I have my hair cut badly I don't go again to the same person - I certainly don't label all hairdressers scum.

    Moneysaving is all about choice. Sales people offer just one choice. Choose not to use them.
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