A Quad City family is urging people to beware of what they call “aggressive” door-to-door sales people canvassing some local neighborhoods now that the weather is heating up.
“They’re relentless in their sales pitch,” said Marcia Allen. “Once they’re in, they’re not leaving.”
Allen’s mom, Margaret Baker, answered the door one day and was asked by a young woman if she wanted her carpet cleaned for free. Before she knew it, three men were inside the home trying to sell her a $2,000 vacuum, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer.
They stayed for three hours, even after being asked twice to leave.
“After quite a while, I said, ‘You should pack your things up and leave.’ I asked them twice. He just kept right on,” Margaret Baker said.
“It was like she was being held hostage. She wanted them to leave and they don’t leave. It’s elder abuse,” said Chris Baker, another daughter.
Police were called, but the men had already left in a van.
When they were talking about cleaning the carpet. My interpretation was, they came to take her to the cleaners,” said Allen.
One of the men even went into the 87-year-old woman’s bedroom and started vacuuming her mattress. She told him to get out.
“That’s what upset us the most. For us to think these men were in our mom’s house with her by herself makes us very angry,” said Chris Baker, another daughter. “She wanted them to leave.”
“I suspect they target elderly people; they’re so intimidated, they don’t know what else to do. It’s like ‘I’ll sign the contract, just get out of my house!’” Allen said.