Skip to content
-8.5 °Cforecast >
Mainly Sunny

Can new laws actually curb those annoying door-to-door water softener people?

In this edition of Everything King, Wendy offers advice to cope on your own
hiding kitten stock
It's OK if you feel your methods are undignified. Embrace it

I was so excited to find out that Ontario was cracking down on door-to-door sales. New legislation went in to effect just last week to ban unsolicited door-to-door sales.

Did this mean from now on when my doorbell rings I wouldn’t have to mute the TV, dim the lights, hit the floor and lay flat on the carpet in frightened silence until they went away?

No such luck.

It seems the province’s ban on door-to-door sales means they can’t try to sell me (us) an air conditioner, a furnace, a water purification system or offer to clean the dirty ducts.

That is all well and good. However, it will NOT stop salespeople from home maintenance companies or telecommunications firms or charities from dropping by unannounced.

Well then, thanks for not much.

Admittedly, I have a rather intense phobia about door-to-door salespeople. For this, I blame my mother. She was always on the nervous side and a bit of a worry wart. We lived in the country but along a busy highway so there were constantly strangers showing up on our porch either needing to use the phone (before everyone had their own in their pocket), having car trouble or selling something. She likely had one startle too many and was always quick to tell her daughters "When Mom and Dad are not home do not to go to the door.”

For once in my childhood, I listened.

From the time I can remember when my parents were away I closed all the drapes and if the doorbell rang I hit the ground and crawled — using my elbows like a combat soldier — on my tummy, across the kitchen carpet and hid just under the window sill in the corner until the coast was clear.  

I wonder now how many hours I sat there cowering?

Granted this was not the best way to face my fears. To be honest, nothing much has changed. I still never answer my door unless I am expecting company or they have called ahead or if I have booked an appointment for a sales call.

That doorbell rings and I still freeze in place, mute CNN, and lay low until I hear footsteps walking away. Some of those folks are sneaky and knock in a very friendly way to fool you into thinking they are known to you. Some use the old “shave and a haircut/2 bits” knock.  

Fool me once . . .

There are a few reasons I will not answer. 

We’ve all heard cases of someone forcing their way into a home for nefarious reasons. It is not worth taking the chance.

I don’t really like people that much and don’t want to be bothered.

I likely have no makeup on and possibly am not dressed properly.

I have a hard time saying no. If I answer that door chances are I’m going to have an unwanted vacuum, water softener, new furnace and sparkly clean ducts. I need to be protected from myself. 

In all seriousness, I do appreciate these new laws that will hopefully protect a lot of vulnerable people from pushy or forceful sales tactics but I’m not overly optimistic.

Remember the Do Not Call list — I don’t know about you but I’m on it but still receiving telemarketing calls like clockwork at meal time and bedtime and in between.

Here’s what I suggest. Pretend you’re not home. Pitiful but effective!