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Door-to-door booksellers making neighbors uncomfortable

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Some say door-to-door salesman in Grand Forks are going too far and making neighbors uncomfortable, but police say there’s something you can do about it.

Some say booksellers from the company Southwest Advantage are harassing them, banging on their doors when their kids are sleeping, coming back after being told no, some even saying the salesman tried to enter their home.

Police say the salesmen are licensed to sell door-to-door, but now, some are taking extreme measures to keep them away.

Lori Skogstad didn't want to appear on camera but says she was watching her grandchildren when she got a knock at the door by a salesman.

Skogstad: "They've come here twice they came one in the morning and once in the evening. I pretty much sent him on his way right away."

But apparently he didn't get the message.

Skogstad: "When they came back they came back on the weekend in the evening and I was alone and it was a little frightening."

Police say the sellers are legit and it's on homeowners to get rid of them.

Lt. Jeremy Moe, GFPD: "If you feel that somebody's going to your residence more than you would like them to, obviously part of it is for the homeowner to tell them we don't want you to come back and be firm with them."

But Skogstad, and many others, agree their message isn't being heard.

Skogstad: "I felt that we gave him a clear message the first time that we were not interested."

Many on Facebook are now sharing homemade signs they've hung on their doors to keep the booksellers away.

Martin Hein is one of those salesmen. He's doing an internship with Southwest Advantage for the summer.

Hein: "I'm supposed to catch up with parents and teachers in Grand Forks explaining study guides."

When asked about the signs and excessive knocking, he says it's the homeowners fault for making the salesman think they're not home, when really they are.

Hein: "If somebody's at home and we don't know it we might knock two times if they don't come to the door."

Police say if salesmen are abusing their license, they could be charged with trespassing, having their license taken away, or even be arrested. They say you should always contact them if anything is wrong.

Hein: “We just try to serve the people as well as we can and help families with education. We're trying to help people, not selling vacuum cleaners or knives."

Licensed or not, Skogstad doesn't think they need to keep coming back.

Skogstad: “When they ask where you’re gonna be and how long you're gonna be here, licensed or not, I felt very uncomfortable.”

WDAZ asked the company about this and they say they're going to talk to their interns about the issue.