Door-to-door alert: Subscription solicitation

Just out of the inbox from Adam in Westwood, a report of a door-to-door solicitor making a claim we know for sure is fake – read on:

Just had a guy come to our door claiming to be from the Seattle Times and offering three months for free. When I said I get my news online, his rap was that Obama just passed legislation yesterday that requires online news sites to force users to pay $1.50 and no-one will be able to access news content for free anymore. Despite saying I wasn’t interested he was quite argumentative. Obviously a scam artist so wanted to warn others. He was knocking on doors on 34th near Thistle.

No such legislation, that much we can tell you. As for whether anyone is soliciting subscriptions in the area, we’ll see what we can find out, though official info is usually hard to come by on a Friday night.

12 Replies to "Door-to-door alert: Subscription solicitation"

  • pigeonmom July 30, 2010 (7:06 pm)

    He just came to my door. He “wanted to know if I’d been getting my paper ok” I said yes. He mumbled something then went away. He looked peeved and was talking under his breath as he walked away.

    Light denim shorts, light blue Hawaiian type shirt with white T underneath. Had some type of ID tag on a lanyard, didn’t get a good look at it.

    PS- Howdy neighbor Adam, it’s Stacy. :)

  • Aaron July 30, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    Stopped by my place on 34th near Barton tonight, too. Same story. Muttering when I told him I wasn’t interested in getting the paper, even if it was free.

    At least he went away quickly. :)

  • mikeflynn July 30, 2010 (9:48 pm)

    I routinely call the cops on these people. Even if the appear more legit than this guy.

  • fuzzy July 30, 2010 (10:00 pm)

    am I in the minority that I don’t answer the door for people who I don’t know? Maybe I’m a scaredy cat but all too often the politeness of opening the door up to a stranger results in a bizzare crime. Or a comcast subscription.

    • WSB July 30, 2010 (10:15 pm)

      We don’t either.

  • cmac July 31, 2010 (9:22 am)

    To be clear, Seattle Times reps have been going door to door selling subscriptions. I re upped my Sunday only subscription a few weeks ago through on of these guys. Didn’t give me the spiel about accessing already free content online.

    No problems so far. Delivery great. Called CS at the Times and my purchase was legit.

  • trice July 31, 2010 (10:03 am)

    He also came to our door, said he was the “new” delivery guy. My husband went for it. 3 mos free. What is he after??

  • charlabob July 31, 2010 (10:42 am)

    The charla doesn’t answer the door. The bob does.

    I’m sure this is marginally dangerous but I photograph annoying scam artists with my blackberry — which is always with me. I wait for them to get a little ways away — but it does seem to stop them from going to the next house on the street.

    I *think* someone on the forum first mentioned doing this — so I can’t say it’s an original idea. But it does seem to work.

  • Tara July 31, 2010 (10:47 am)

    I live in Arbor Heights, 102 & 42nd. About 3 weeks ago, a younger, polite, but insistent, black man, neat, close-cropped hair, had the same offer. I said no thanks, don’t read the paper, and he really pushed. Couldn’t tell if it was a scam (I always assume it is), but he didn’t seem as if he was casing, no obvious looks in the house. Kept saying no thank you until he left. …The front door was open, so nothing I could do about preventing it.

  • change the headline July 31, 2010 (11:17 am)

    It would be responsible to change the headline. There doesn’t seem to be anything related to a ‘scam’ going on here. Outside of the ludicrous claim of a federally mandated subscription, silly at worst, these reps are probably legit.
    I spent many summers pitching news subscriptions around my neighborhood. It’s taxing, frustrating work, but I was young enough to avoid paranoid claims of criminal activity.
    Readers, hang “No Solicitors” signs on your door if you don’t want to be bothered. It’s not a criminal act to sell door-to-door, nor is it one to stretch the truth in a sales pitch. Editor, change the headline. Its irresponsible to call “scam” on a potentially legitimate campaign by the Times.

    • WSB July 31, 2010 (12:04 pm)

      The ‘scam’ would refer to the claim. But you have a good point, so we’ll tweak.

  • HolyKow August 2, 2010 (9:28 am)


    I have a NO SOLICITORS sign on my door and it might as well say NO SOLICITORS (but you, you’re OK, please knock on my door and annoy me PLEASE, I have been waiting all day for you to come up and try to sell me JUNK I do not want!).

    The sign not work, this is an activity that has past its usefulness and there oughta be a law banning the practice. Oh, wait, there it! It’s called TRESPASSING.

    I call the cops when I see them coming. If it is legit, I don’t want it anyway. If it is not legit, it is a safety issue….Only if you do not open the door and it is not legit, you have just been cased and expect some un-invited guests….soon…



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