Schwan’s Does Not Respect My Home
So, I really do not like door-to-door solicitors. I have even made my own No Solicitors sign. I clearly feel that solicitors are intrusive. If I want to buy something, I know how to look it up online or go to a store. I have my own thoughts on religious beliefs. If I want to know about a particular religion, I know how to look it up. It’s the same with politicians. I prefer to rely on a politician’s previous voting history than what he/she promises while asking for my vote. A politician’s voting history is publicly available information.
I have a handful of select charities I support and really can’t afford anymore now. I’m very selective about who I donate to. I want to make sure that they are fiscally responsible. I will sometimes research for a month before I choose one. Unless a solicitor wants to wait for a donation at my doorstep for a month while I research, they are wasting their time.
I have 2 school-aged kids. Most of my friends have kids. That means that if schools are selling something, I’m probably already buying from my own children, or my friends’ kids. Why would I be interested in buying a stranger’s kid’s over-priced wrapping paper when I already know kids that are selling it?
We do love Scouts and several of the neighborhood kids are in Scouts. I can’t get enough girl scout cookies, and sometimes buy from more than one girl. I also buy wreaths from the boys and donate food to their food drives. We didn’t want them to feel unwelcome, so I clearly spelled out that scouts were welcome.
I have had two companies knock on my door since putting that sign up. One was from Goodyear. Their corporate headquarters called to apologize when I complained. They also went through the effort to determine which area franchise came by and reminded them that violating a no-soliciting sign was more likely to cost them business than garner community endearment. Goodyear has redeemed themselves. I will probably not use that local franchise, but will continue to use corporate stores.
Schwan’s, however, is irredeemable. When I lived in Florida, I bought from the Schwan’s delivery truck a few times. For a brief time, my cousin worked for Schwan’s and I even bought from him. However, I wasn’t really pleased with their overpriced food’s quality. When I moved to Minnesota, I found I lacked interest in buying, so didn’t update my contact information with the company. That being said, I held no misgivings about the company and may have bought from them in the future. Well, that is until the events of this past week.
- Saturday, June 22, a Schwan’s representative came by our house trying to solicit business. We pointed out the sign and he said it didn’t apply to him because he wasn’t selling anything – just handing out flyers with their information.
I complained on the Schwan’s Facebook wall. Several people had already commented after me, and before me. Schwans replied to most of the comments before and after mine, but completely ignored mine. Obviously, they have active customer service on their Facebook profile, because Schwans is actively referring other people with account issues to the correct contact. My request gets absolutely no response from Schwans. I noticed other people mentioning that their posts were deleted from the Schwan’s Facebook wall, so I took a screenshot and am sharing it here in case my complaint disappears into cyberspace. You can click to enlarge the image. Notice how the Schwans people responded to others, but not to me? I have blurred the names of the other people for their privacy. Mine is the one that isn’t blurred.
By Tuesday, June 25, I still have not received any reply. I complained again. This time, I got a response from Jeff Kittell. When I click on his Facebook profile, his job title is SDSS at Schwan’s Sales in Montrose, Colorado. His response? Does he reply to assure me that this isn’t the way the company normally does business? No. Does he even offer a second-rate, glib apology? No. His response:
i got my best customers from people that have no trespassors and no soliciting because you cann’t say no
You will have to excuse the poor punctuation and capitalization. I copied it verbatim so that I didn’t accidentally misquote Jeff. I was obviously frustrated about the lack of Schwan’s reply to my original complaint. I still don’t understand how a company representative can so blatantly confirm that they don’t care to respect the wishes of private citizens within their own home.
To make a very long-winded story short, I will never do business with Schwan’s. The culture engenders an attitude in their sales people that No Soliciting signs aren’t to be taken seriously. Citizens desiring to avoid the intrusions of sales people have no real rights and are just barriers to making a sale. I mean, I got it right from the company rep’s mouth; we only have those signs because we don’t know how to say no.
Well, guess what Schwan’s? The next time your rep knocks on my door without a solicitor’s license and claims my sign doesn’t apply to them, I’m calling the police again. Your behavior is illegal in my city. Is that an emphatic enough “No” for you? It’s not that I can’t say no. It’s that I don’t want you to bother me.
So, here are some free tips that I found online to deal with this.
- Put up a sign (I have one)
- Don’t answer the door (Our door was open because it’s been beautiful. The screen was closed, but the door was open). I also have a problem with this approach. There have been cases of “solicitors” knocking on doors just to case the house to see if the resident is home. If no one was home, they broke in. Of course, another option is to let them know you are there, but don’t answer the door. That’s exactly what I did in the incident that prompted me to create my original no soliciting sign. She wouldn’t go away when she saw me and pounded on the door for a full 5 minutes.
- Put up a fence and beware of dogs sign (We don’t own the house, so this isn’t an option for us. I think our neighborhood even bans front yard fences).
- Complain to the corporate. It worked with Goodyear. Some, however, like this Schwans rep would rather just keep pounding on your door because they believe you are really just a pushover. I mean, God forbid you actually really just want some time with your family, undisturbed or that you work the night-shift and need sleep.
- Research your state and local laws. We did. We found MN Statute 325g. Solicitors in our city have to carry licenses, presentable upon demand, or they can be arrested and fined. Knowledge is power. Research your state laws. That’s your best protection.
Do you have any tips that work for you?