Facing what he called an increasing number of complaints about door to door salespeople operating in the city and reports of unethical behavior among some, Ward 3 Councilor Darren Cyr on Tuesday night asked the Licensing Committee and City Clerk Mary Audley to consider a credentialing or badging system to track and authorize door to door salespeople within the city limits.
“We’ve had too many people complaining about the number of people that come to their doors soliciting and we’ve had many reports that some of these sales people are misrepresenting themselves or the products they are selling,” said Cyr. “For several years we didn’t even allow door to door solicitation at all in the city, and that was to protect both the residents from being victimized and the door to door salespeople who may not be familiar with the city.”
However, Cyr noted that about a year ago the Council decided to allow “some door to door” solicitations on a “pilot basis,” but the practice has since grown rapidly with no checks or balances and no city control over who is operating here.
“Some people will go to the door and say that they work for Comcast or Verizon or Solar City or some other big company, when actually they are a subcontractor working on a commission, so they are not really being truthful,” explained Cyr. “Others are taking advantage of our elderly or taking advantage of language barriers with some of our residents who maybe don’t speak English as their first language, so we have to get this under control.”
Cyr said that he hopes the city can adopt some kind of a credentialing program within a month or so, that would allow the city to require all door to door salespeople to register with the city, have their associations or employment status checked with their employers and receive a certificate or badge from the city they could wear around their necks or on their jackets to show that they have been authorized to work in Lynn.
“Once this gets running, the first question people should be able to ask is where is your badge from the city,” said Cyr.
Anyone going door to door without a badge could potentially be cited by the police or code enforcement.