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BBB Warns of Now-Hiring Signs, Door-to-Door Sales

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Springfield’s Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about suspicious door-to-door operations and yellow lawn signs.
UPDATE: 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- According to the BBB, the phone number associated with the yellow yard signs (417-812-3001) answers as 417 Recruiting with GPD Enterprises.

A link to their BBB business review is available here. 



SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Springfield’s Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about suspicious door-to-door operations and yellow lawn signs.

According to a statement from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a representative called the number on the yellow sign to get more information.

When the representative called the number, someone named Jennifer answered the phone.  The BBB representative told her he was interested in the job, and Jennifer tried to immediately book an interview.  The woman would not give an address until the BBB representative agreed to an appointment, however.

After agreeing to an interview, the address was given as 535 N. West Bypass, Suite C, in the Wilson Shopping Center in Springfield.

The BBB says Jennifer did not give the name of the business, but said the operation sells door-to-door floor shampoo equipment.  She said the company is based out of Cleveland, Ohio, but the distribution center is in Springfield.

The BBB contacted the Cleveland BBB, but they say they have not heard of the company.

The Cleveland BBB says they are investigating further in to their records to see if there have been consumer complaints.

The Missouri Attorney General does not have any information on the company, either, but they have been made aware of BBB’s findings. Also, the Springfield Business License Office does not have any record of a license at the address, according to the BBB.



The following is information given by the BBB on how to avoid scams:

WATCH OUT FOR TRICKS

Be suspicious of anyone who tries to sell by playing on your emotions. For example, some sellers will suggest you are shirking your responsibilities to your family if you don't buy their product.
 
Be suspicious of salespeople who tell you they are selling their service or product at the lowest price or tell you that their competitors do poor quality work.
 
Be suspicious of salespeople who say they have done other work in your city or neighborhood, but refuse to give you the names of some past customers.
 
Ask yourself how you will get your money back if the salesperson doesn't deliver or if the product is defective. If you buy from a reputable local business, you can always take the product back. If you buy from a fly-by-night seller, chances are you'll never see him or her again.
 
TIPS TO AVOID THE DOOR-TO-DOOR SCAM

Don’t let them in your house. While there are legitimate salespeople that still make door-to-door visits, consumers should be very cautious by not allowing any unexpected guests into their home. If someone comes to your door that you do not know, you should ask who it is through a closed door. If it’s a solicitor and you don’t want to talk to them, simply tell them to leave. If you do open the door, don’t open it wide and don’t invite them in. They may say things like: "Can I use your phone to contact my sales manager", "Can I get a glass of water", "Can I use your bathroom" or "It's really hot out here, can we go inside and talk where it's cool?" If you feel like you are in danger, you should immediately call the local police department.
 
Pay attention and listen carefully to what they say. If you think that the salesperson may be lying, ask for the name of their school, company, or association that they are representing, along with their contact information. Verify that this salesperson is actually associated with the group, and then verify that the company is legitimate by checking with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org or by contacting the Missouri Attorney General at 1-800-392-8222.
 
Ask the salesperson to give you everything in writing, including return or warranty information. Tell them that you’d like to verify everything first, then get back to them. If you don’t feel comfortable or see a neighbor being harassed by a salesperson, call the police.
 
Don’t be pressured into anything. Salespeople will try using high pressure sales techniques in order to get you to buy their product. Hold your position, and don’t allow them to win you over with words like “this offer is only valid for today”, or “I won’t be in this area again”. A door-to-door salesperson will try to keep you talking so long that you’ll finally wear down and say “yes.” They hope that you will just “give- in” so that you can get rid of them. The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.
 
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN SCAMMED
 
 If you happen to have the company’s address and telephone number, you should try contacting them first to cancel the subscription or services that you agreed to, and ask for a refund.

 If you paid cash for one of these door-to-door scams, there isn’t much that can be done to retrieve your money since there is no way to trace it. If you paid by check, you can try contacting your bank and cancelling the check. You should also warn the bank that a potential scammer has your check, and you might want to change the account number.

 If you paid by credit or debit card, contact the bank or credit card issuer immediately. Explain to them what happened, and you might have to cancel the card. You may also want to continue to monitor charges to your card so you can dispute any purchases you did not make.

 If the company continues to contact you and demand payment after you’ve cancelled, send them copies of the cancellation letter along with a cease and desist letter. You may have to contact an attorney, and threaten them with legal action if they continue to harass you by saying they will report you to a credit bureau.

 You can contact and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

 You can file a complaint with the BBB by visiting our website at www.bbb.org
 
 
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