Twenty-one-year-old Ben Parkhurst of Kitchener has been charged with Fail to leave premises when directed, Contrary to the Trespass to Property Act following an incident Tuesday, July 30 in Tillsonburg.
The charge was laid by Oxford OPP after responding to a call on North Street. Police allege investigation revealed a male suspect attending a residence attempting to sell a product refused to leave the property when asked several times by the owner. The suspect was allegedly ‘rude and pushy’ while trying to engage the homeowner in conversation about the environment.
A suspect was subsequently located and charged.
“We receive complaints of salespeople attending homes in Tillsonburg demanding to inspect equipment within the house or to do a demonstration,” said Oxford OPP Inspector Tim Clark. “The tactics employed to make a sale may be extremely high pressured and pushy, aimed at making a sale immediately.
“Although it may be legal, understanding your rights and remaining in control of what is going on in your home is the key to protecting your interests.”
A press release issued by Oxford OPP included the following tips about dealing with salespeople or other uninvited guests:
IT’S YOUR HOME!
You do not have to let a salesperson inside your home and you have every right to ask anyone to leave your property at any time. If they don’t leave, call the police. An unwanted person in your home can be removed, arrested if necessary and charged under the Trespass to Property Act.
WHO ARE YOU DEALING WITH?
If you do not know them, you need to ask questions. Who are these salespeople, companies and brands involved? Have you done any reference checks which could include calling the Better Business Bureau or checking on-line?
Within Tillsonburg and other municipalities, door-to-door salespeople are required to have a municipal sales permit and if requested, to show a potential customer a copy of it. If you have doubts simply do not deal with them and tell them to leave.
DEMONSTRATIONS or INSPECTIONS SHOULD BE ON YOUR TERMS
Find out how long it will take and set a timeframe that works for you. Ask a relative, neighbour or friend to be there. Being alone with a stranger or multiple strangers can make you very vulnerable and you may be buying something or switching to a new company that you really do not want.
End the session when you want. Take time to think about it and if the salesperson insists otherwise, it may be a sign things are not right. If it’s a good sale today, it will be a good sale tomorrow, so what is the harm in a grace period to think it over. ‘You must act now’ should be a signal this deal may not be what you want.
DON’T BE TOO FREE WITH INFORMATION
There is a chance that in some cases the stranger you are dealing with is “fishing” for information that could be used for illegitimate purposes. Remember, you are there to get information about a product, not to give up information about you and your belongings.
It is important to educate family members and friends, especially if they are seniors who can sometimes be vulnerable to high-pressure sales tactics.
It is your home, you do not have to let strangers inside. If you do not feel comfortable with someone in it, tell them to leave and if they do not leave immediately call the police.