In a reaction to a recent rash of posts in West Asheville Watch’s Facebook page regarding sketchy magazine salesmen throughout the West Asheville neighborhood, West Asheville Watch finally caught up with some of the salesmen and inquired to the business. In two separate accounts occurring at the same time; on Delaware Avenue and Sandhill Road and the other on Salola and Carrier Street, both instances where met with not much in the way of answers, but plenty of suspicion.
When WestAshevilleWatch asked for identification or paperwork, a non-official looking piece of paper was shown with a Fort Lauderdale address and number. WAW called the number, inquiring to the legitimacy of the company and within minutes a vehicle with Montana plates arrived to scoop the salesman up, while hiding his face. No official identification was ever produced.
Soon after, two blocks away he retrieved another salesman while another WAW participant was being treated with much more aggressive tactics. The man, driving the red station wagon pictured here repeatedly tried to hide his face and followed the WAW member to his house. The APD non-emergency number was called, Police were basically unable to do anything, unless there was a direct threat.
The Asheville city license states they are Independent Contractor’s Service and lists their address as 1005 Marine Mile Blvd St in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at this time, we are unable to find any record of that business at that address. In fact, the address does not appear to be valid in the searches we have done so far. There is no record of that business being registered in the state of Florida.
An article from The Helena MT Independent Record quoted Jim Molloy, Montana Attorney General’s office chief of consumer protection. As for door-to-door salesmen in general, Molloy said, “just don’t do it.” “You’re better off not doing business with door-to-doors,” he said. He also sees a red flag whenever a solicitor’s company is based in Florida. “That seems to be the base of operations for a lot of poor businesses,” he said.
So, how did the City of Asheville issue this company a permit? Are any checks made? This just a few months after a questionable permit was issued to an out-of-town “church” to collect money on Patton Avenue.
We wonder if someone at the city is asleep at the switch in the permit office.
Last year one of the sellers was arrested in Boone, NC, according to The Appalachian Online quoted a student in the article saying “A female resident reported Wednesday that Arnold refused to leave her residence unless she either submitted to drug use and sexual activity or bought a magazine subscription, according to police.”
In 2004 in Knoxville, TN. “Rodger Eric Broadway pleaded guilty in Knox County Criminal Court to the rape and murder of Eskalene DeBorde, a 66-year-old grandmother whose West Knox County home he had come to selling magazine subscriptions. Before the year was out, two more Tennesseans would be sexually assaulted by door-to-door magazine salesmen,” according to The Knoxville News-Sentinal.
Below are just some of the complaints we were able to find in a few minutes of searching. We found complaints online from cities all over the USA, Helena, MT, Delray Beach, FLA, Mendota, IL, Three Forks, MT, Bealeton, VA, Douglas, AZ, Vallejo, CA, Nasheville, TN, Owensboro, KY, Portales, NM, Denver, CO, Oneida, NY, and Kirkland, WA are just a few of the complaints about this company on ripoffreport.com. The company is listed as having a F rating at the Florida BBB.
Need more info? Check ‘em out…