Door-to-door sales illegal in some Piedmont cities

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ARCHDALE, N.C. -- Solicitations for home improvement projects tick up during summer months and several Piedmont cities are reminding citizens that solicitations in some places are illegal.

In Archdale, for example, Police Captain David Jones said, “Residential solicitation is actually prohibited throughout the whole city. You cannot solicit at the residences.”

Five years ago, he said, the city passed a non-solicitation ordinance. That means vendors, peddlers and solicitors must have a permit filed with the city. But solicitors can only approach neighbors who chose to be on a list.

“I think of it as kind of a reverse ‘do not call' list,” Jones explained. “I guess in essence, if you wanted to solicit in Archdale, you could ask for this list. But right now no one has opted to be on it.”

That's not surprising, as the rule came about after a rash of aggressive sales people targeting Archdale and pushing everything from alarms to insurance.

“They would just saturate the city, usually they were from out of state,” he added. “It actually became more of a domestic type call when we went out instead of just a solicitation because they were actually putting their foot in the door, stopping the homeowner from shutting the door.”

Jones says citizens often call the police department to report sales people in neighborhoods. Religious and political groups are not prohibited.

Greensboro and Winston-Salem also have rules about solicitations. Both require door-to-door sales people to get a license or permit. And they can generally only operate during business hours.

Spokesperson Rachel Kelly with the City of Burlington told FOX8, “The city is in the process of reexamining the policy, however we are not currently requiring permits for anyone except taxi services and beer and wine sales.”

Officers encourage folks to inform anyone who approaches them with a pitch -- they may be breaking the law.