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Do you get a lot of knocks on your door?

The other night, at 8:37pm, there was an unexpected knock on the door.  Though it is not unusual for us to have visitors come in and out of our front door, it is a bit unusual for someone to come by completely unannounced.  I got a bit nervous and asked my husband to get the door.  Turns out, it was someone campaigning for global warming.  My husband had to question a few times to make sure that she was against global warming and not "for" it.

In our three years at this house, we have been solicited 3 times.  Once, someone came to our yard while we were playing, he made small talk, asked about the kids, then eventually sat us down and tried to sell us this whole "educational reading kit", to which I kindly declined.  When he was frustrated that he couldn't make a sale, he said, "Are you telling me that you don't care about your children's educational advancement?"  I said, "No.  I am telling you that I would like you to leave now."

Once, on a very cold evening, I had a visit from an OSPIRG representative.  While I can recongize that it takes a committed person to canvass neighborhoods door-to-door and make connections person-to-person, we don't usually respond well to soliciations at the door.  I said I'd look up OSPIRG and take a look at supporting.  I think I may have signed a petition of theirs.

The third time, there was a neighborhood fellow who came to the door, asking us if we needed the lawn mowed or any other housework done.  We had just done a lot of housework that weekend, so I was not lying when I said that we weren't needing help at that time.  Before I was able to close the door, the neighborhood fellow started saying, "I just wanted to let you know that there are a lot of crazy people out there...."  And, I thanked him for his time and thoughts and said, "Good day."

Just moments ago, I received an email from our neighborhood association, indicating that there was some fraudulent fundraising afoot.  People have been soliciting funds, door-to-door, in a nearby neighborhood, raising money for the local high school or community center.  The email also indicated that these groups were not fundraising door-to-door, and that these people were probably looking to prey on the homes where they were soliciting.

So, we are wondering: Do you receive a lot of unexpected knocks on your door?  Are they friends or neighbors?  Do you often encounter door-to-door solicitors in your neighborhood?  Have you encountered fraudulent fundraising in your neighborhood?


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We used to get a lot more solicitors (religious, political, and sales) and then I put up a nice enamel "No Soliciting" sign which is clearly visible from the sidewalk.

I still get the occasional OSPIRG or political canvasser, but the salespeople/fundraisers have dropped to pretty much nil. I've seen people start up the stairs from the sidewalk, see the sign, and turn around.

I'm here in the Sw corner of Portland, right up next to Lake O. I do get the environmental solicitors and once, a very creepy magazine salesman.

I'm in the heart of the crunchy SE and we get quite a few. Some are slicker than others, some are HS kids selling magazines. I rarely open the door to anyone, just tell them "No thanks" through the window.

The few times I have spoken to these people, I always ask if they have some information they can leave with me so I can think about it. They never, ever do. That right there says scam to me. All they want is a quick donation. I don't like to be so cynical, but anyone who really wanted folks on board would come prepared with the name of the organization or a web address on a card at at the very least.

UGH. We get these people frequently. The solicitors are bussed in. The canvassers, come in on their own.

Does anyone remember a few years back there was a woman in Sellwood who was raped by one of the solicitors?

Most / all of these solicitors are from out of state. They'll hire anyone. Criminals included. And they are taught high pressure and frequently dishonest sales tactics.

I've gotten so tired of them (and quite frankly, they scare me), that I'm very aggressive when I answer the door. My husband works late and the last thing I need on my doorstep is some stranger knocking on my door at night. When my husband is here, I'm interested in family time, not in being solicited, even if it is for a good cause.

We've had a guy come back 3 times in one evening. There was another guy that approached my DH as he was driving into our garage and when my DH said he wasn't interested, he asked if I was home. There was the guy who claimed he was from Portland and then used the words "inner city" which told me he didn't have a clue about Portland since we don't call it that. I could go on and on.

A neighbor considered putting up a No Solicitation sign and was told by one of the solicitors that it wouldn't stop them (she was so irritated she sat down with the person to ask her what she hoped to gain by harassing people).

Lake Oswego requires EACH of these people, not just the company, to have a business license. That has stopped a lot of them from coming into L.O. I wish Portland would do something similar.

I NEVER answer the door unless I know who it is.I am very comfortable letting people ring and knock all day long I just ignore them. Anyone I would like to let in knows to call first.There is just to much crap going on in the world. Oh,I do have a no solicitng sign that doesnt seem to work that well.

Across the board I say no to solicitors. I don’t care who it is- democratic fundraising, OSPIRG, Greenpeace…. Doesn’t matter if it is an organization I believe in. No door to door. If I have asked for material to review them always say they don’t want to spend money on printed material. As a rule I don’t give money or sign anything from door to door folks.

Don’t get me started on phone solicitations at 8pm when I am trying to get my son to sleep. I thought I was on the “do not call list”?

It totally freaks me out when someone knocks on my door unannounced. My door is set back from the street and can not be seen by my neighbors. It makes me feel very 'exposed' to any type of crazy person knocking. Maybe I have seen too many scary movies.

I also feel a little guilty when I look out my peephole & do not open the door because the knocker knows we are home. Tanner, my 2 year old, is always saying mommy mommy while pounding on the opaque window next to my door & my dog is barking. It is pretty chaotic! Most of the time it is just a boyscout or a kid with a fund raiser...but every now and then a strange man is behind the peephole. Now that I'm a mom, I think twice before unlocking the door.

We get many variations on the lawnmowever man, and we also get the little girl selling tamales door-to-door (at 9 pm on a weeknite), and due to our location right at a bus stop & just this side of a big park we get every manner of people knocking on our door claiming they just need 50 more cents for bus fare home, altho this last group tends to be seasonal - we see them a lot more during the summer.

This may be apocryphal: I have read that back during the Great Depression, hoboes would graffiti or otherwise mark (for other travellin' po' folk) the fences/homes of people who were kind enough to give a hobo a handout. That is, so that other hoboes would know to hit them up. Sometimes I wonder about the 21st century version of this grapevine, because my extremely kind-hearted (to a fault) husband once gave a little money to a very down-and-out-looking fella who came up on our porch. Are we now "marked?"

In comparison, the canvassers are a breath of fresh air at our home.

We have a "No Soliciting" sign too, and it has drastically reduced the number of sales/signature knockers. I never buy from door to door salesmen. I think it is intrusive and it just plain makes me nervous in this day and age(I sound like my grandmother!) to open the door to strangers. I don't feel guilty about it either, in spite of my catholic school genes!

We've gotten so many from people trying to sell us The Oregonian - and we get them even when we already have a subscription. It gets old.

The other day, we got a knock on the door from some people from The Brake Team who were selling a package of 10 oil changes for $80. My husband decided to go for it, but I started getting nervous about identity theft. I asked the man if we could sign up in-store, and he immediately acknowledge the concern about identity theft and offered his identification. I really appreciated his willingness to put us at ease!

We live in NE, pretty close in, and get tons of solicitors. They are mostly political, charitable, or school kids asking for contributions to a sport team event. While I am always happy to give to the kids, the other groups drive me crazy. A knock on our door causes the dog to go wild, my daughter to react to the dog going wild, and general upheaval in the middle of dinner, bath time, or bedtime reading.

I always feel compelled to at least look through the peep hole, as it could be a neighbor in need of something. Then, get really annoyed to find that it is someone who only wants a signature or money.

We recently hung a no soliciting sign on our door, and it seems to be working. However, the test will really be this summer when groups are out in full force.

Question, though...our sign is homemade and not very visible from the street. Where can I find a more formal sign?

We hardly ever get people knocking on our door, which I am often surprised about as we are directly across the street from a mini-mart. I guess I expected people just hanging out in front of/near our door.

We actually live in a 2nd story apartment, the first floor of which has been undergoing construction since we moved in. Between all the hammering and sawing, I sometimes don't even notice if someone is knocking on the door--our friends know to call on their way over, so I will listen for the door.

Once, though, being 6 mos. prego, I was resting on my bed while my 2 boys were watching a movie. I heard some banging, but figured it was the construction guys, since I wasn't expecting anyone. After about 10 min., my older son told me he thought he saw someone at the door. Turns out it was my landlord--stopping by unexpectedly--and he was about to call Child Protective Services, because he could hear the boys, but thought no adult was home since nobody answered the door. PLEASE.

I live in SW. We occasionally get the magazine people, the political peeps, or the companies selling windows. I politely listen , decline and say "good luck". The ones that bug me are the people from a religious affiliation that I will not name but we all know who they are. Actually, two different affiliations. They lie to get you to open the door, saying something about protecting kids, then they want to chat about their religion. I tell them I'm Jewish or Buddhist and shut the door. Once I was feeling a little fiesty and I told these three ladies that we worshiped the devil. They slowly backed off the porch and walked away.

This definitely happens to us from time to time. For example, on Sunday at 8:30 in the AM a woman came by who was clearly inebriated, told me she was my neighbor, and was in need of money to purchase Similac. She went by a few houses and eventually left in a car with Washington plates.

After discussions with our neighborhood safety specialist on a variety of issues, it has become very clear to me that I can't truly judge whether these types of visits are just simple panhandling (that is admittedly somewhat dishonest - but is anyone really THAT gullible?) or someone checking to see if the door is locked and if anyone is at home or who knows what else.

So although I still answer my door, I do immediately report any questionable visits to the Portland police via their non-emergency number (503-823-3333). I have the number programmed into my cell for easy access.

So yes, I did report the Similac lady. And although I was tempted, I didn't ask if she had considered breastfeeding...

Going door-to-door seems like a very democratic process to me. Of course there are people who try to sell things and just last week I was canvassed by a very rude and aggressive woman. I told her if she expected to get support for her issue she should think a little more about her approach. I also frequently get the "I have a flat tire and need bus money" delivered in a breathless approach worthy of an Oscar. Even so, I still would like my door to be one that anyone can knock on. Political candidates and supporters knock on doors and I like to hear what they have to say face-to-face. In my old neighborhood a neighbor I didn't know knocked on my door to try to encourage me to go to our neighborhood kindergarten round-up. If I get a bad feeling, or don't feel like answering, I don't. I never give out money - even to an organization I like - at the door and I've found that saying no several times generally works for others. This is an interesting post for me, because I have been wondering if a No Soliciting sign would weed out the ones just looking to sell something, but to me a No Soliciting sign seems unwelcoming to anyone who comes to the door.

We live in SW and used to get at least two solicitors a week, usually just after the baby went to bed and while we were eating dinner. I finally had enough when a man claiming to be selling meat hassled our nanny so badly she got scared and called me at the office and had her husband come over to the house to get the guy to go away. Up went the No Soliciting sign (homemade) and we have had very few solicitors since. I'd also like to know where I could buy a more professional looking sign if anyone has suggestions.

We got a No Soliciting sign from Fred Meyer in the hardware section.

Maybe it's because I've had plenty of experience on both sides of the door, but the first thing I did when I moved into my new place was take DOWN the "no soliciting" sign. I recognize that meat salesman and magazine subscriptions can get old, but there are a lot of people out there working very hard for little money and a cause they believe in.

Taking a political message door-to-door, whether it's fundraising, signature gathering, or just informative, is a positive force in our apathetic and disengaged society.

I also think that the fear some people have of people at their door is largely unfounded, and mostly a product of sensationalist crime coverage in the news, and a culture which keeps us isolated within our neighborhoods.

Just my $0.02

For those looking for a nice looking sign, I bought a sign from a Canadian company on eBay (http://www.enamelsigns.ca/no_soliciting.htm)

Our neighbor has this one - http://www.carterstore.com/sign-shop/no-signs/arsnosoli/ - she got it at Hippo Hardware I think, and I've seen it at Sorels on Hawthorne as well.

UGH, the solicitors. I am definitely putting up a no solicitors sign before this summer. I remember how nonstop it was before the last presidential election.

I'm all for grassroots politics, but I resent having to interrupt family time to go to the door to listen to someone's spiel. I always ask them to leave me with information that we can review, discuss, and then make a decision, and I always get a hard sell to give them money NOW. And I have to say, that makes me LESS likely to support these organizations. My husband gave $25 to some environmental group that came around door to door once, and they have HOUNDED us ever since, and have been downright nasty to me when I've asked them to please go away (Them: "Well, your HUSBAND is a supporter of ours." Me: "Not anymore!!!")

i worked for the PIRGs for year so i understand what it's like for those folks, but i also have two small kids and don't want anyone ringing my bell. why aren't there signs that simply state what the person knocking will encounter - like:
we have two small kids, knocking on the door wakes them up. we are sleep deprived and will turn our rage on you. is my signature really worth that?
we're eating dinner, giving the kids a bath then putting them to bed. unless you are prepared to clean up the kitchen, help with the bath, or willing to tackle the mound of laundry please don't knock.

mkf - One night after THREE of these people coming to our door, I became so fed up, I took a Sharpie and created my own sign that basically followed your first suggestion. I was all set to put it up but my husband stopped me (he's too nice sometimes).

I just don't answer the door anymore unless I'm expecting a visitor. I agree -the interruption of family time annoys me - it's also the busiest part of the day - dinner, bath and bedtime with tired kids (and tired parents). I just don't want a
"hard sell" from a worthy cause (or not so worthy cause.) And of course, some of the visitors may be "casing the joint", looking for potential houses to break into. Last month we had more "visitors" than usual and our neighbor called shortly after that and let me know there had been 2 break-in's in the neighborhood. I'm not sure that was a coincidence.

We get a ton of environmental and human rights organizations at our door in the evening. By that time of day, I am usually glazed over and spaced out the entire time they are talking to me (usually a long passionate sermon). I ask for printed material, and occasionally we will go online and contribute. Now if my husband is home, he listens attentively and gives money to practically any group that approaches. Our house is probably marked somehow to say, only go if the man is home!

What irked me recently was a canvasser who rang the doorbell several times while knocking loudly on the wooden door. It was 8:45 pm and this triggered my daughter to wake up & cry. I thought I recognized the woman as a neighbor from down the street, but when I threw open the door to help with what I deemed an emergency due to the excessive noise she created, I spotted the clipboard and was pissed. As she said "Can you help the environment?" I replied "It's too late" and shut the door, realizing that my statement could be a double entendre.
I work for an environmental nonprofit and we don't solicit door-to-door...

I live in the Roseway n'hood. I most frequently get the siding and window people. Yes, I acknowledge my house could use a bit of help in both departments, but I'm not going to drop thousands with some random company who has to go door-to-door to drum up business.

I do get the occasional activist-type in the evenings, and I sometimes come home to find religious tracts stuck in my door.

My across-the-street neighbors have a NO SOLICITATION sign on their door, but last summer, some strange men in blue shirts (what do you call men's buttondown shirts? I want to say oxfords) were walking around our neighborhood and only going to random houses. They went to the neighbor's house, and he pointed out that he had the sign. That didn't stop the 2 men (very preppy looking, probably early 20's?) and the neighbor had to practically hit them to make them leave. We never found out what they wanted and they didn't try to come to my house (thank goodness, single mom....) but it weirded me out. My neighbor was pissed for a week after that. I usually get OSPIRG and Greenpeace coming to my door and sometimes I go for it then and there since I wouldn't do it otherwise. But now, I have had a gate put up in my entry area, and many visitors, even friends, can't seem to figure out how to work the lock to get in, so maybe I have passively solved the solicitation problem!

I peek out the window, if I don't recognize the person or if I see a clipboard I just don't answer the door. I don't care if they know I'm home or not -- I just don't feel comfortable opening my door to people I don't know. I think its rude for a total stranger to knock on my door and ask for money for any reason.

We live in north, and get a few solicitors and activists now and then, but it's not so bad.

We get a lawn mower guy, too, that has been coming here a lot. The same guy, the first time he stoped by he said he used to mow the lawn here (before we moved in) and do we want him to keep mowing it for us. We said well no thanks, we do it ourselves. So now he has come by a couple of more times just asking for money. The last time he came by at 10:30 at night! That really freaked me out. I'm just glad my husband was home to answer the door, if it was me I definitely wouldn't have answered but would have been even more totally freaked out by it. (and we watched him as he left, he didn't stop at anyone else's house on our block) Weird, huh?

I live on a busy street with an easily accessible front door (no gate, etc.) and I get all kinds. LOTS of people asking to mow our lawn, some who are neighborhood kids and to whom I occasionally say yes, others who are less savory. one man my husband paid to mow our lawn once, and he kept coming back when he needed money. after a while saying 'no', though, he stopped coming (and we haven't seen him since).

the ones I hate the most are the Jehovah's Witnesses! they seem like such nice people, but they love to ask if I read the Bible. I'm an Episcopalian, and very certain that I do not agree with the JW faith. at first I'd say that I DID read the Bible, and chat with them (usually, with baby firmly attached to breast -- hello!) but after a while if it was a literature-offerer I'd just say that I was an Episcopalian and I had plenty of literature, thank you very much. (once I said, "I have stacks of papers I haven't read! I can't take any more!" they still tried to leave it.)

I got that educational reading kit guy too. I got the same attitude -- clearly I don't care about my children's reading skills! damn him. I think I laughed at him while pushing Everett inside and shutting the door.

For awhile I had a sign on the door that said, "No Solicitors! You wake our baby, we kick your a**." I think I need to do that again. I figure the person at the door doesn't know if the baby is 5 months old or 5 years old. The threat of waking a baby, hopefully, is enough to scare folks away.

Another sign we had (pre-baby) included a long list of people we weren't interested in talking to. It seems there are solicitors who feel they are exempt from "no solicitors" signage, so I included the following: school fund raisers, religious groups, political groups, real estate agents, service people, etc

We get a lot of these folks as well, some less savory than others. We have a pretty big window on the door so I just usually look out the window wihtout opening the door and use my most serious mom voice to tell them I'm not interested. I do feel bad for the folks that are legit, or for a good cause, but I feel pretty vulnerable about the whole thing. Anyone with less than honerable intentions wouldn't have to watch for too long to learn I'm home alone with two kidlets all day.

We get SO many solicitors. The 'no solicitors' sign doesn't make a difference. We are in close-in NE on a popular street, and some weeks it is at least 3x/week.

It's very annoying. We are in a bungalow, so when they are at the door they can literally see us inside. What a pain.

After a few months in this house, we had to institute a no-door-to-door policy. We just don't give money at the door, no matter what the cause. I usually explain how many solicitors we get on our street and they are mostly understanding.

But, yes, occasionally it creeps me out (like the time the guy flipped off my husband on the way across the street, and then stood there yelling profanities at our house). We recently got a security system installed, just to feel safer. And I do feel safer especially in the winter during dinnertime when they come to the door and I'm home alone.

Yes, we live in NE and used to get a LOT of canvassers, door-to-door salespeople, people asking for donations, etc. I'm all for grassroots politics and giving donations, too, but at the beginning of the year, I choose which organizations I want to donate to and stick to that plan no matter how many people knock on my door. I would never give money at the door anyway, I like to research the organizations first, and I would most certainly never buy anything from a door-to-door salesperson.

So, we got a very nice 'No Soliciting' sign from Sorels on Hawthorne and it seemed to have worked, we've only got one or two people since we put it up last fall.

I just experienced a solicitor come to my door who I caught in the act of trying to steal my shoes! I couldn't believe my eyes. I had left my trail running shoes outside b/c they were muddy. Here I am, a woman home alone, trying to study when I hear a very loud brazen knock on the door. I never answer the door when I'm home alone so I watched the man through the peephole. I couldn't believe it when I saw him sit down on the bench next to my front-door, take off his shoes and pick up my shoes to put on! I jerked open the door and said "Can I help you?" He mumbled something about soliciting for basketball and acted like it was a perfectly normal thing for a stranger to be in his stocking feet sitting next to my front door. Unbelievable. I wished I'd had the courage to confront him about it but I politely declined his solicitation and he just slinked away. Gosh, that makes me so mad!

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