Local ADT Vendor
123 Main Street
Quartz Hill CA 93536

Dear Local Vendor:

On the evening of June 28, 2010, at 9:00 p.m. and after dark, two young men wearing ADT golf shirts rang the doorbell of my home, and began a sales pitch with a question containing scare words and loaded terms about home invasions, burglaries, and medical emergencies. Perhaps your salesmen did not know this, but they woke up my wife who had already gone to sleep, and disturbed my peace.

The salesman apparently did not listen to or did not care about my response, because he immediately launched into a fast-talking sales pitch concerning a free installation as long as I agreed to advertise your company on my front lawn. He gave the distinct impression of being unwilling to take “no” for an answer. Having encountered people trained in hard sell techniques before, I knew that unless I interrupted him and firmly ended the sales call, I would be standing there all night listening to a sales pitch while insects flew into my house through the open door or asked to invite two total strangers into my home after dark – the very opposite sort of feeling that a “security” company ought to be engendering in its customers. I therefore stated unequivocally that I was uninterested in his product and closed the door.

A moment later, I heard through the door one of them taunting me with the phrase “Good luck!” Perhaps your salesman felt insulted and believed himself to be returning rude treatment in kind. While I have little concern for the salesman’s opinion of me one way or the other, perhaps this is not the sort of thing you want people representing your company to be doing. I might add that if your salesman lacks the emotional steel to handle someone closing a door in his face while refusing to buy his product without having to vent his hurt feelings, chances are good that he is in the wrong line of work.

In fact, my greatest security concern about home security is burglary perpetrated by people who case out my home while posing as door-to-door salesmen. The fact that these two men came after dark, unannounced, and seemed interested in entering my house while I was apparently alone, only enhanced my concerns. The fact that a “hard sales” pitch was used, engineered to simultaneously manipulate my emotions and deny me the effective opportunity to make my own decisions, added insult to the irritation. This has left me with a lingering distaste for the entire experience, one which I intend to share with my professional colleagues.

I make it a practice to never, ever, buy anything from any company that uses door-to-door solicitation or “hard sales” techniques. These salesman did both. Therefore, I will not do business with your company, now or in the future. In the event that we decide to purchase a home security system in the future, we will contact one of your competitors — directly.

I thought you might like to know the foregoing so that you could understand how you had lost at least one customer and possibly more.

Transplanted Lawyer

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. You were much more accommodating than I would have been! I wouldn't have opened the door in the first place.

  2. As a follow-up — the President of this local vendor called me in response to my letter. He told me that he doesn't use door-to-door solicitors, and it must have been people employed by another vendor who is moving in to his area and doing all sorts of scummy things. He promised to take my letter to ADT corporate and try to get them to crack down on this other vendor, because they're causing him to lose business. Then he promised to follow up with me and let me know what happened.I was ready to blow off this phone call until the guy said he didn't want to sell me anything at all, but if I ever decided I did want a security system, he hoped I would look around at the quality of the services offered by various companies — and he gave me the names of three of his local competitors. That sounds like standing behind your product and gave his call the ring of sincerity. So I'll take a "wait and see" approach.

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