It wasn’t the first time Sandi Schlosser had bought magazines from a door-to-door salesperson.
But it was the first time her order hadn’t been fulfilled.
“I truly think the young salespeople they employ aren’t aware of this,” she said.
Her receipt, from Houston-based Freedom Sales, Inc., details her $134 order: three years of Vegetarian Times and Weight Wachers, and two years of Mac Life.
More than 15 months later, she hasn’t seen a single issue, she said.
“They market themselves as recruiting and trying to help kids,” she said of the saleswoman who came to her door.
The saleswoman had spoken of personal financial troubles and how the door-to-door job helped feed her family, Schlosser said.
Her order had been confirmed with the company last December by phone, according to Schlosser, when she was told to be patient, as these things can take some time to process.
Now the company won’t return her calls, she said.
“We just feel like we’ve been burned by someone we were trying to help,” she said.
Schlosser trusted the solicitor with her money, but how can customers ever really know whether buying from a door-to-door seller is safe?
“Your best protection is to look at the reputation of the seller,” said Gary Almond, President of the Better Business Bureau of Northeastern California.
A simple Google search on a cell phone or computer will find the company’s reputation and educate a consumer about the risks, he said.
Freedom Sales has hundreds of complaints from across the country about freedom not delivering magazines.
Schlosser’s receipt from the company reads: “If you do not receive delivery within 120 days please contact Freedom Sales. You will be compensated.”
But also printed is this apparent disclaimer: “Refunds will not be issued.”
“They’re affirmatively telling you they don’t have a refund policy,” said Almond.
CBS Sacramento’s messages to Freedom and manager Twanna Engerman were not returned.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office said it has received 26 complaints about Freedom, but is yet to take any legal action against it.
“They’re not honoring their agreement,” Schlosser said, before adding she won’t buy from a door-to-door salesperson again anytime soon.
“To order on blind faith [that an item will arrive later on],” she said. “I would be reluctant to do that.”
Many cities and counties, including the City of Sacramento where Schlosser resides, require door-to-door solicitors to obtain permits and business licenses and carry them on routes.
The City told CBS Sacramento Freedom Sales never had any permits to operate door to door.