Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beware possible insurance scams

April 19, 2012

I opened my door to find a salesman who wanted to sell me cancer insurance. Really?

Really. Most of you who read my column know my history and see the irony. Blah, blah, blah; he droned on; stopped himself to point out that he was wearing a KU jacket and noted the KU emblem on my vest. Did that make us friends? Hardly.

You have to give him credit; he was a determined salesman. Except that he didn’t have a right to be where he was, doing what he was doing.

So, I asked him for identification; he didn’t have any. Photo ID? Nope. A permit or license to be selling insurance in our community? He flipped open a notebook to reveal an eight by ten, plastic encased sheet of paper; said he was licensed out of Topeka. Snapped the notebook shut.

I asked him if he had been to City Hall. He replied that he had; that city hall had provided him a map, he said. So, I asked him where City Hall was; he didn’t know. His companion, a woman, who had remained on the steps a few feet away now approached. My suspicions begin to rise. I suggested that they needed to go to City Hall, gave them the directions, and asked them to leave.

When they proceeded next door, without taking my advice to go to City Hall for the proper permit or license, I called City Hall, who responded promptly and sent police officers to handle the situation, which they did efficiently and competently. Off to City Hall they went.

I called my neighbors and let them know that sales people were in the area, selling insurance, for which they were not licensed and were doing so in a deceptive manner.

For all our differences, we look out for one another.

I e-mailed my friends and the church to let them know that unlicensed, insurance salesmen were in the area selling “cancer insurance.” Had I had time, I would have called the Insurance Commissioners Office in Topeka to report the unsavory tactics used by these particular individuals. That’s next on my list.

So what do you need to do? Report anyone going door to door selling. Even with a permit or occupational license, which this couple now has, they must make an appointment before appearing on your property. You have the right to refuse their overtures.

To avoid being hassled at all: post a note, a three by five card will do, that simply says: No Solicitors. We are covered by the green river ordinance. A simple sign on your door prohibits a salesman from approaching your door and trying to sell you something you don’t want and, in my case, don’t need. Religious organizations are exempt.

I just love it when a column falls into my lap. Whoosh, one for the neighborhood!

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