“because of the recent spike in crime in this neighborhood we’re doing a door to door offering of our services.”

by Prince Of Petworth January 15, 2016 at 1:05 pm 50 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

Kind of odd.

Last night (8:45pm) I got a knock on the door. When I looked out the window I saw someone with a yellow ADT vest on. When I opened the door the representative said, “because of the recent spike in crime in this neighborhood we’re doing a door to door offering of our services.”

Ironically he asked if he could come inside to discuss (are you kidding me) and when I said no he asked when a good time would be. (I can still hear him now going door to door with the same pitch.). I simply told him we weren’t interested.

He gave me his card with a name on it. By the looks of the card he seems legit but I for one am not comfortable with anyone asking if they can come in our home at this time of day to discuss home security AND I think it’s a little smarmy to target DC neighborhoods because of a perceived uptick in crime (especially if you’re from Fredericksburg VA).

Attached is the card I got. Legit or not, be safe.”

  • s

    After the shooting in my neighborhood of the Woodside area of Silver Spring a few months ago, ADT came and canvassed door-to-door the next day. I happened to be home and they gave the same pitch, that they were out there because of the recent crime nearby. They must just scan the local “news” to know where to hit up next. Preying on that fear to get that cash, man.

    • Anonymous

      Respect for the hustle. They wouldn’t be out there, if they were not making sales.

      • anon7


  • When I did door-to-door canvassing for the Sierra Club, we knocked on doors until 9 pm. It sucked because people were NOT expecting to be interrupted that late, but that was the job.

    • FridayGirl

      Yeah, I was just thinking that the canvassers are probably also not comfortable or feeling safe having to knock on doors that late if they’re actually working for the company.

  • madmonk28

    Does anyone else remember that there was a home security salesman in the DC area who as also the serial burglar causing the spike in crime? It was more than 20 years ago.

  • jd

    Nothing odd about it. What’s ironic about asking to come in to talk? I’ve been in sales for 10 years. It’s not easy especially at this level. Respect.

    • womp

      it’s ironic that a salesperson from a security company would knock on a door (apparently in a neighborhood with a “recent spike in crime”) relatively late in the evening and ask to come inside to discuss how said security company could help ease fears / increase security with the “recent spike in crime.”
      or do you still not see the irony?
      FWIW, there is no disrespect here (from me or the OP), just basic personal awareness and vigilance.

      • jd

        womp – ha no problem, I’ve got thick skin. I respect the fact the he has a job and is out working. Its got to be a horrible job but at least he’s not unemployed. Irony? I don’t know. Seems to be a demand and to ask to come Inside- wasn’t it like 18 degrees yesterday. Anyway for what it’s worth I would have said no thanks and sent him on his way. People hustle here. Hell, this is the middle of a metro area of 6 million people, Not a gated community in Palm beach. Not worth posting on the city’s most popular blog.

        • textdoc

          This person is trying to sell a product to ensure safety and prevent people you don’t know from coming into your home.
          This person is asking you to let him into your house, even though he’s a complete stranger. You don’t find that ironic?

    • TJ

      Respect? No stranger interrupting the minimal time I have at home for myself deserves such a thing. If I want to buy something, I will find you. No legitimate business sells door-to-door in this age; If I needed an alarm system the mere fact someone from ADT knocked on my door would cross them off the list. Even worse is the fear-mongering sales pitch. Home alarm systems don’t help make the streets safe.

      • Amores Pendejos

        “No legitimate business sells door-to-door in this age” – you are evidently wrong about this!

        • TJ

          No, I meant what I said. ADT isn’t legit. It offers a service of questionable value by preying on fear.

      • Hmm, is door-to-door sales the next silly hipster trend?

        • jd

          door to door olive oil sales???

      • HaileUnlikely

        You, sir, are an asshole. You don’t have to respect the company, but respect the dude out there doing his really sh!tty job trying to earn an honest paycheck.

        • TJ

          Thanks! But sorry, not all jobs are OK. I don’t have to respect people for violating the peace and quiet at my private residence in an attempt to sell me something I don’t need, want, think is legit–and may well be a scam.

          • HaileUnlikely

            You don’t get to be the judge of that any more than I do. I get to play around on Popville while I get paid a salary. I don’t know, but would guess, that you do as well. The salesman doesn’t. If you post contempt about people who do jobs that you regard as beneath you while you are on the clock getting paid to *work,* I have no more respect for you than you do for him, and unlike you, I will not pretend to be sorry by preceding my comment with “sorry.”

          • INDC

            TJ, I couldn’t agree with you more. Besides, I thought door to door sales died decades ago. Living in a large metropolitan area, common sense tells me never to open the door to strangers (although I live in a large building so I’m sort of insulated from that experience). I’d rather be a little rude than be robbed, stabbed, or any other similarly delightful experiences.

  • TJ

    Same dude, or an affiliate, stopped by our house, located in one of the safest locations east of Rock Creek Park at the same troublesome hour. I didn’t talk to him – I don’t open the door for solicitations – but he was relatively persistent as my two dogs drowned out his pitch.

  • MtP

    Completely agree that asking to come inside isn’t the smartest strategy given what he is peddling, but I definitely see nothing “smarmy” by this. They sell security systems, so it makes sense to go where the most willing customers are and where the biggest perceived need is.

    • Cookie Butter Cheesy Puff Monster

      No different than the vultures wanting to buy your house because property values have shot up.

  • Skeptical Inquirer

    I’ve seen this before–door-to-door canvasing for ADT that is incredibly intrusive and, when investigated, discovered to be unrelated to ADT. A quick google search for ADT in Fredericksburg turns up phone numbers that do not match the number on the card. I suspect if you called the number on the card, you’d connect to someone claiming to be from ADT, but if you called the actual ADT number, you’d discover that they did not, in fact, have anyone canvassing for them in your neighborhood last night.

    At least now I know to be aware of this again in my neighborhood this weekend, so thanks for the heads up.

    In short, scam scam scam scammy scam scam.

    • textdoc

      Oooh, interesting. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • textdoc

      I was looking on the website listed on the printed card thing (safestreetsusa.com) and saw that (as FireRunner has also noted), this isn’t ADT per se, but rather a dealer that’s authorized to sell ADT.
      Ironically, despite this misrepresentation of theirs, the website says that they’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau and have an A+ rating with it.

      • Skeptical Inquirer

        I’ll only highlight that anyone could put anything on any card they hand you. The fact that they put a web address on the card does not mean they’re affiliated with the organization at the web address. If you look at the website, you’ll find again that none of THOSE phone numbers match the number on the card.

        • textdoc

          Yep, agreed.

  • ugh

    ugh. Don’t get ADT. My roommate made me get it one time, and we got sucked into a 3 year contract. Long story short – I ended up being responsible for all of it.

    And ADT kept increasing the prices. We started out paying $20/month, which turned into $40/month 6 months later and then $60/month about a year later. Total waste of money.

    And the cops started to get mad at us because my rather large cat (who ADT said shouldn’t set off the alarm) kept setting off the alarm.

    • anon

      ADT is the worst. We pulled our old ADT system out when we bought our new place and switched to Simplisafe. ADT also wanted to charge us to pick up their old equipment, so needless to say, it went in the trash.

    • Cookie Butter Cheesy Puff Monster

      I’ve had ADT for five years and it hasn’t increased from $25/month. When we bought our house it was easiest to go with them since it was already wired for ADT. We ended up getting them for our rental property too since there’s a discount for multiple homes. I’m sure there are cheaper options out there, but I haven’t had any problems with them.

    • houseintherear

      They have a very interesting little scheme where they raise your bills without notice, and when you call they say the contract has a part about being able to raise cost whenever they wish. I finally figured out that I could say, “I reject the increase,” and somehow they had to take it off my bill whenever I said that phrase. And I ditched them after the 3 years because I found that whole thing to be quite criminal.

      • Caroline

        Huh, that’s good to know. Somehow they’ve never tried to raise my rate, but maybe someday they will.

  • jcm

    1. ADT is massively overpriced. If you want a security system you can get one just as good for a third of the price, or less, without committing to a crazy long contract.
    2. I find it astonishing that anyone can still make a living as a door to door salesman. I had a Verizon salesman hit come to my house twice, eight hours apart, when it was like 20 degrees outside. I really felt bad for the guy, but not so bad that I would buy anything from him, or any other door to door salesmen.

  • FireRunner

    As a property manager I can tell you this sort of advertising is very common. The company in question is legitimate. They are simply a private security system installation company who is licensed to sell and install ADT equipment. Sadly, they do use this sort of tactic to gain more customers.

    I will suggest if anyone is interested in installing a security system to go with Ackerman Security. Their installs are normally free and it’s only $19 a month for monitoring. ADT will charge for most installs and charge $35 a month for monitoring. Ackerman also does NOT require an agreement. You can pay month to month. ADT requires a two year agreement. The service you receive is the same if not better with Ackerman Security. Over the last five years I’ve had 16 businesses install or change over from ADT to Ackerman.

    Also, (to the OP) nice job not allowing that person inside. Often times scammers will try to observe your home to see if it’s worth breaking into. If you receive the newspaper or any weekly paper delivered to your door step make sure to pick them up. If you’re out of town have a neighbor pick them up. It’s one of #1 signs to a bugler looks for to determine if someone is not home.

    • textdoc

      And even worse than the buglers are the guys who play the French horn!
      Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;)

      • FridayGirl

        Hahahaha… textdoc, I’m having a bad day and this made me laugh really hard. Thank you! (And firerunner, thank you too!)

        • textdoc


  • HidYourKidsHifeYourWife

    From the looks of the business card, it appears as though the person is just an authorized dealer of ADT equipment but not from ADT. I think that ADT is the supplier and StreetSafe is the installer. Or, they just knock on doors and if no one answers, break in. If someone answers, make a sale. Win-Win.

  • mrvi

    Someone came to my door with the same approach. I said not interested, he asked if he could come inside to look at our old system and asked when my husband would be home. I tried to be polite and say no again and that i had to get back to dinner, and he said “it’s kind of early for dinner, isn’t it?” That’s when the door slammed.

    • wowtdc

      Wow, if someone asked me when my husband would be coming home as if I’m incapable of making household decisions, they would certainly get an earful from me.

      • textdoc

        It could also be a scammer’s way of sussing out whether a woman is in the house by herself and thus presumably an easier target.

        • Caroline

          That’s what I was thinking.

  • say what

    well the crime uptick is concerning. Some crimes are down but the groups of teens jumping people, day time break ins are all on the rise. I think Uber is seeing an uptick now too from people who no longer want to ride metro after dark.

  • Anon

    Ahh..the good old scare tactic for sales. “If you don’t buy our service, you leave yourself vulnerable.” That tactic didn’t work when I bought my last car and it wouldn’t work with home monitoring services.

  • Cawood

    I had a very similar incident in the fall of last year. A woman came to the door with two men who stood on the sidewalk. The woman first asked about how we liked our ADT service (we don’t currently have it but stickers on the windows that remain from a previous owner/time) and then asked if I had bottles of water they could have which I did not. Even if I had I was not going to leave her and the other two men out of sight. The whole incident didn’t seem legit. She gave me a card and left. When I followed up with ADT she was not an employee–so be careful. Gut feelings often are true.


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