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Someone Selling Something At Your Lansdale Door? Ask for the Permit

Tony Di Domizio

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 • 12:32am

The door-to-door salesman from Xfinity had no idea that he was knocking on the door to the home owned by the Lansdale Code Enforcement and Land Planning Committee Chairman.
 
Leon Angelichio opened his door and identified himself as such. Luckily, the solicitor had the proper permit from Lansdale Police hanging around his neck. 
 
"When I said I was the chair of Code Enforcement, he immediately flipped the tag around. I was pleased to see the gentleman at my house had a permit around his neck from Lansdale Borough," Angelichio told his committee earlier this month.
 
Some other residents of the borough are not as lucky and encounter an annoyance at the front door without the proper credentials.
 
One such resident contacted Angelichio this month to report she was visited by a salesman from Republic Services Recycling and Trash Disposal, who was reportedly hocking a three-year contract deal with potential customers, with the promise to lock in a price.
 
Angelichio brought his concerns to the committee, and Lansdale Director of Community Development John Ernst gave some answers on what residents should do when they do not see a visible permit on a solicitor.
 
"One of the biggest offenders is Power Windows and Siding," said Ernst. "Apparently, they disembark a cruise ship at the end of a road and pepper the borough with 10,000 solicitors."
 
Ernst said, in those instances where he is visited by a solicitor at his Lansdale home, he introduces himself, with identification, informs him or her that he works for Lansdale, and then asks to see the license.
 
"If they don't have it, they need to get one through Lansdale Police," Ernst said. "The police is the agency that issues vendor permits and door-to-door soliciting permits. They are the 24-hour office that is open to deal with this. Many times, these things happen on the weekend."
 
A permit process, Ernst said, keeps tabs on who exactly is walking around Lansdale and selling door-to-door.
 
"Don't be afraid to ask for this person's permit," Ernst said.
 
Committee member Denton Burnell said he too was visited by Republic Services.
 
"I said, 'See you later,' and he wandered off immediately," Burnell said. "Everyone probably had a different experience." 
 
Burnell, who chairs the borough Communication Commission, said the commission could be proactive on this matter.
 
"We can remind people, if someone comes to the door, what they should be looking for," he said.
 
Resident Jean Fritz asked if the law applies to religious groups that solicit door-to-door with information.
 
"Do they aggravate you?" Angelichio said. "They do come to the door, so I don't know if they need one or are excluded."
 
Ernst said such groups would not fall under the permit requirements, as they are not soliciting something that involves transaction of money or acceptance of servies. 
 
If Girl Scouts were going door-to-door selling cookies, they shouldn't be, with the exception of friends and family.
 
"They are not allowed," said Angelichio. "With the number of actual cookie booths, there is no time to go door-to-door."
 
And Angelichio knows something about Girl Scout cookies.
 
"Generally speaking, I'd leave a $20,000 motorcycle in the driveway because I'm filled with cookies in the garage in wintertime," Angelichio said. "That makes me happy: I'm a Cookie Dad and I'm married to a Cookie Mom."
 
There was one city in the United States where it was illegal to sell door-to-door--Savannah, GA, which, ironically, is also the home of Girl Scouts of America founder Juliette Gordon Low.
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