He stuck his foot in the door

Dear Editor:
On Saturday, August 10th, my husband, Jim, and I answered the front door to find a salesman from a private energy company who attempted to have us agree to choose that company as our provider. He was armed with a binder displaying a PSEG bill on the cover and brandished a company badge. We declined, but he stuck his foot in the door. He was politely told to leave but refused to do so. He insisted that he could enter the vestibule of our house, shouting that we “did not own the building”, that it was “public space”! Of course, Jim became quite upset and raised his voice demanding that the salesman leave the property. As I ran back into the house to call the police, my husband reported that he had been threatened that if he were “not such an old man he would be flat on his back”. The salesman continued to refuse to leave even as the police showed up.
Reports were taken and my husband pressed harassment charges. The police officer presented the blank page of his summons book and assured him that he could sign the document without his having filled it out; that he (police officer) would do the paperwork back at the station. We offered to meet him there, and then sign a full report, but the officer was insistent that he would report the very words my husband used. This made us uneasy, but Jim signed it. And, by the way, the policeman assured us that our vestibule, which is inside a locked door, is public property, and that the sales person had a right to enter and to roam the hallway knocking on doors. The doorbell is on the outside of the locked front door. Two weeks ago, as I was working at home, I answered the door for a salesman for the same company. He also refused to leave, I screamed for help; he stuck his foot in the door, and started to push the door in. I managed to resist (don’t know how) and got the door closed, called the police. Same story, but I was not even-headed enough to file a complaint. Let this be a wake-up call for all residents. These people will not stop their harassment. Beware of opening the door, or buzzing-in anyone. These people have tactics to make you think they are from one of your service providers.

Joan Abel

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group