Door-to-door – and yard-to-yard – alert: Comcast again?

Two more door-to-door alerts have come in, apparently from the same block – another report of solicitors saying they’re representing Comcast, but raising neighbors’ suspicions anyway. The Seattle Municipal Code restricts door-to-door sales to between 8 am and 9 pm (read the code here), and this all happened shortly before the end of that window. Read on:

First, from Katie:

While the events in my neighborhood are not as threatening as the gunshots in Highland Park, I do want to report some suspicious characters roaming about 40th Ave SW (south of Alaska, north of Dawson) this evening. Around 8:45 P.M. ours and our neighbors dogs starting going bananas, barking like mad and pawning at our side gates. I looked outside to see a shadowy figure moving along the side of my neighbor’s house. Thinking it was my neighbor, I went outside but then heard a voice I was not at all familiar with. My husband came out immediately and the voice (it’s getting dark early again :( so we could not see his face) said over the fence that he was from Comcast and is in the neighborhood for a few weeks offering some promotions. We said we weren’t interested and he walked out of our neighbors yard and we THOUGHT he was moving on. Two minutes later, he was making his way up our side yard! This time I could make out a flashlight that lit up his dark t-shirt and light shorts, though I still could not see his face…only the ‘badge’ hanging form his neck. I asked him to leave and said we weren’t interested in any promotions. We followed up this encounter with a call to the police (non-emergency hotline) and they said they’d send someone by in a car. My husband and I saw the guy join up with another male and head south on 40th SW, stopping suspiciously outside our other neighbor’s gate before moving on.

Just a heads up and please encourage people to call the police if they see anything suspicious. The two guys seemed to be casing places, so at the very least at this point, we can make the police aware and perhaps a presence will scare them off.

Then we got this one from Ali:

Around 8:45 tonight, a white male walked in between my house and my neighbors’ house toward the gate going into our back yard. My dog and my neighbors’ dog went crazy so my neighbor and I both walked out to see what was going on. This is odd because our front doors are very easy to see and there is no reason for anyone to enter through our side gate. My neighbor asked the man what he needed and he said his name was Travis with Comcast and he was in the neighborhood for a couple weeks running promotions. My neighbor told him we weren’t interested and he walked away. Our neighbors then walked their dog down the street and saw this man along with another man in shorts and t-shirts carrying clip boards and flashlights and walking down 40th Ave SW headed South. I did notify the non-emergency number.

The full list of city laws regarding residential (door-to-door) sales is here – we keep the link on the West Seattle Crime Watch page, too; not to say this type of selling is a crime, but since it often arouses suspicions, seemed like the most likely place on our site for people to look for it.

14 Replies to "Door-to-door - and yard-to-yard - alert: Comcast again?"

  • Meryl September 8, 2011 (12:26 am)

    That is very interesting. About a month or two ago a guy came by my house and talked to me at length about a supposed Comcast promotion, but he couldnt seem to get his facts straight on what he was offering me although he had detailed sheets with the info on it.
    He also had a badge. My guy actually came to my front door.

  • Steven September 8, 2011 (6:19 am)

    I have gotten in the habit of photographing the ‘solicitors’ that come through our neighborhood. Only rarely can they come up with a valid license. Blockwatch and the instant e-mail alert to neighbors is a great thing. The photograph will come in handy in the event of an actual crime or break-in.

  • Max September 8, 2011 (6:39 am)

    Has anybody called Comcast??

  • Elizabeth September 8, 2011 (6:42 am)

    we’ve had “Comcast guys” here in Bellevue too…I wonder if Comcast is aware of this…

  • austin September 8, 2011 (7:47 am)

    This reminds me of the garlic jims door hanger guy who came into my house (!) to give me a coupon.. he was escorted out the front door and then went into my backyard, at which time he was escorted to the street. I wonder if comcast hired that guy.

  • datamuse September 8, 2011 (8:47 am)

    This came up before and apparently Comcast does have door-to-door promotional people–but I can’t imagine that they’d send them out after dark, or that any legitimate salesperson would think that wandering around people’s yards was a good way to encourage business.

  • Mike September 8, 2011 (9:01 am)

    Quit being paranoid people.

  • datamuse September 8, 2011 (9:16 am)

    Mike, feeling dubious about a stranger in my yard after dark isn’t paranoid, it’s sensible. Do you also leave your car doors unlocked?

  • MercyMoi September 8, 2011 (9:28 am)

    Austin – the same thing almost happened to me four years ago! The same company’s doorknob ad-hanger tried to open my front door. I was sitting on the couch watching the knob turning back and forth – slick attempt!

  • Mitch September 8, 2011 (10:46 am)

    These people are independent contractors that are primarily promoting Comcasts Xfinity service. The guy I dealt with was a little dim witted but he got me a heck of a deal. Plus he gave me some great tips on how to save money on my future bill.

  • Jim P September 8, 2011 (11:05 am)

    “Quit being paranoid people.”

    “Salesmen” in the side yards after dark with flashlights? That ain’t being paranoid, brother, that’s being smart.

    Closest thing I could see to why they’d do it is if they were checking for a satellite dish or cable box, but I don’t beleive that for a moment myself.

    Best to escort such off your property and suggest they keep moving and then stay there and watch them while you phone the police.

    it is neither beyond the bounds of reality nor unheard of for someone with evil intent to take an “outside” sales job of the casual sort in order to case a neighborhood for later use or to pass info to friends.

    You get the clipboard and some sort of I.D. and can hide behind that when stopped while getting lots of info about what’s in the neighborhood and whether people are alert and wary.

    If you feel you must answer the door to a stranger’s knock, I suggest a cheery “I’ve got it, dear” over your shoulder as you do so the caller will be unsure as to whether you are alone or not.

    It’s not paranoia when there really *are* bad guys out there waiting for a chance to harm you.

  • Tony B. September 8, 2011 (12:37 pm)

    The Comcast guy was probably legit. They’ve been out in force all summer (if you are a Comcast subscriber you probably got a mailer telling you to look out for them. However most people don’t read their mailers so remain uninformed). Like Mitch I also got a great deal. Paying 10 bucks less a month, got my internet upgraded, now get all the movie channels, the sports channels, and phone. Price is locked for 2 years. Sometimes it pays to read the junk mail.

  • Rm September 8, 2011 (4:59 pm)

    Oh hey Tony could you return my flashlight? ; )
    Glad to hear you got a good deal.

  • MarySheely September 28, 2011 (8:50 pm)

    They’re back! This just happened to us at 8:45: guy comes to our back door, through the alley, after dark, dogs go nuts, he is in our yard, he gets angry when I question why he’s out so late going door to door. We are NOT pleased.

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