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East End News

Sketchy Verizon guys?

Posted on the Fulton Facebook Group a few days ago:

Did anyone else get a super sketchy vibe from the 2 “Verizon” employees going door to door today? Since when do cable company employees go door to door to say, we are having some issues with service and just want to let you know that we are taking care of it…..hmmmm how are you fixing it walking up and down the street? No issues at all with our Verizon service. I was outside when the 2 “employees” came to my house. The one fast talker was on a roll talking about going into my house until I said no way are going you going into my house. Then he seemed in a real hurry to leave my yard

More like casing out houses to rob….yes police were called. I spent hours on phone with Verizon phone transfer to multiple departments to try to find out if they were legit, never got info as to whether or not they were….keep an eye out. Time of the year for this type of stuff.

[sep]

An email on Friday:

27th and M St- Around 7 tonight there was a knock on my door and then 2 doorbell rings. I open the door and there were two guys on my porch dressed in Verizon gear. We exchanged pleasantries, they eyed my dogs, and then I tried to politely cut them off- the usual “I’m not switching, I’m happy with my cable etc.” They didn’t let it go of course and continued pressing, at which point I said something about my husband making the cable decision. One of the gentlemen asked me if they could speak with him (he wasn’t home at the time” and kind of craned his neck to look in my doorway. I told them I was done and didn’t appreciate their taking up my time this evening and politely thanked them and shut the door. While they left one of them scribbled something on a piece of paper.

My question is, does anyone find it strange that they’re out doing this when it’s dark at 7pm on a Friday night, the night before Christmas Eve? It’s been awhile since I’ve encountered a Comcast/ADT/etc. salesman at my door so I may be out of the loop, but something about this struck me as just a bit off.

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35 comments

Kristen 12/25/2016 at 7:58 AM

They came by my house too (25th and M). It was 3 guys. One was in a reflective vest. This is the 3rd time someone from verizon has come by my house saying they recently installed fios and asking if I wanted to switch. I told them I already told the other 2 people who stopped by that we did not want to switch. It did seem sketchy that it was three guys this time. It was one person alone the other two times.

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AC 12/25/2016 at 9:24 AM

I’m fairly skeptical of door knocks and solicitors, and usually just ignore them. The Fios guys came to my place in Jackson Ward and sold me on Fios. It’s a bit unorthodox to go about on Friday night at 7pm, but these guys are commissioned sales people. To me that just points out that they’re motivated.
I think calling door to door sales people sketchy is a bit of an over reaction, and I don’t doubt it has some racial undertones in the word “sketchy”. These guys generally wear name tag credentials, and are more than happy for you to snap a picture and call in to Verizon HQ to verify, and ensure they get credit for the sale.
That said, knocking door to door for a service interruption seems a bit out of the ordinary.

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Eric Huffstutler 12/25/2016 at 11:14 AM

I remember a few years back, ADT did the same thing. They hire 3rd party people to go out and drum up business. I called ADT as well since they did not dress like employees nor drove official looking vehicles but was told they were legit. I already had ADT by that time which made it even more questionable. Their “approach” is the sketchy part.

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Havis L. Wright
Havis L. Wright 12/25/2016 at 11:57 AM

I continue to find the word “sketchy” very problematic. It’s freighted and quite vague. I’d suggest asking for and verifying credentials as appropriate and declining their services as appropriate. If you feel something criminal is occurring, alert the fuzz and maybe provide a bit more detailed description of who you encountered.

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Granville Brothers 12/25/2016 at 12:30 PM

Two guys came to my house, legit Verizon people, actually gave me a sales pitch and I replied that I didn’t want to switch and they politely thanked me for my time and left. This was in the spring. A couple of days ago I was waking from my car towards my house when I saw someone on he sidewalk on the phone. Normal clothes, I figured it was a friend of one my neighbors and noticed he was standing next to a car with the engine on and someone in it. Tinted windows. A couple hours later I hear two voices talking in front my house for about 5 min before they came up and knocked on the door. My dog is very loud and will bark when anybody does this. I get my girlfriend to hold dog while I open the door to see who it is, two guys one was from earlier and the other in a yellow vest who comments that I have a killer dog?? Before he could even start I told him I was not interested in whatever they were trying to sell me or get me to switch to. I said I had just got home from work and that I was in the middle of dinner, the guy in normal clothes then asked if there was any seats form him? I close door and lock deadbolt. I live on 25th and franklin.

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Bryan Brodie 12/25/2016 at 1:21 PM

If you see them, tell them to PLEASE come to my house, I am sick of Comcast ripping me off for $90 / month for only internet.

East Main St, 1900 block, can’t come soon enough!

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Kevin 12/25/2016 at 1:24 PM

I’ve had 8+ Verizon people come by our place (28th & Clay) in the last half year and at all times of day – most recently I had two different people come in the same day. It’s getting really annoying. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions of how to opt out of such future solicitations short of a sign/sticker by the front door.

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April Scott
April Scott 12/25/2016 at 1:26 PM

They walked by when I was outside. Told them I had FiOS, then they continued door knocking. Polite and seemed legit. I thought the timing was odd but I would think early evening would be the best time to catch people at home.

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twitter_bozatwork 12/25/2016 at 2:21 PM

They came through the Museum District too. People reported similar concerns but they are in a Verizon van and wearing uniforms.

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Debra Abney Barnes
Debra Abney Barnes 12/25/2016 at 2:23 PM

I have no problem with salesmen going door to door. I posted the original post above on the Fulton Hill Facebook group. When the “Verizon” employees talked to me in my front yard they said they were repairmen…NOT salesmen. If so, they had no repair equipment with them, no van, not even a clipboard. When I told them they were not going into my house the guy said “well ok but thanks for the invitation.” What part of your are not going into my house sounds like an invitation?!! I went into the house to call Verizon after they left. Someone else in my neighborhood called the police. Police drove by and talked to my husband when he was outside. Then the smarmy employee walks by my house and yells out to me – so you don’t think I work for Verizon?? I yelled back, nope and still don’t. If they were Verizon that’s so unprofessional. Then they knocked on a house close to mine, the homeowner looked through the window and wouldn’t answer the door. So he pounds on the door harder then yells – Why do people do that?! I just want to talk to you!!! We have had way too many break-ins in the area in daylight hours to not be suspicious of stuff like this. If your a salesman, then identify yourself as such. Verizon needs to screen and train their employees better. Ridiculous. And sidebar….I talked to 3 different Verizon departments in phone transfer hell….they were supposed to call back to verify if they were legit and never did…..

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Leigh 12/25/2016 at 2:50 PM

They’ve been to my house a couple of times (Chimbo area). Stated they were polling people on their cable provider satisfaction. I played dumb and said my husband deals with it. They attempted to grill me but I cut them short
I only opened the door and stepped out onto my front porch with my 80 lb dog present at my side. They, too, asked me if he was a killer dog. I gladly let him know that YES he is. And they left

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Sarah 12/25/2016 at 2:57 PM

One came by my house as well on 33rd between q and r. I didnt open my door and pointed to my no trespassing sign in the window. He wouldnt leave until i held up my phone and said i was calling the police.

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Spacecat 12/25/2016 at 9:00 PM

Discussion on the Museum District ‘Verizon guys’ from three weeks ago on Reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/rva/comments/5fewdq/doortodoor_verizon_reps_in_the_museum_district/

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Anita Garcia-Stein 12/26/2016 at 5:55 AM

Verizon salespeople have come to my door (29th St between Franklin and Grace) at least 3 times in the last year. I talk to them through the side-view window without opening the door. In the last visit (a couple of days ago), the speaker was not going to take no for an answer. He kept talking even after I left.

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Amber-Lynn 12/26/2016 at 7:37 PM

If sketchy isn’t the right word perhaps rude or annoying will work. They showed up, at my back door no less, 7:30pm the day after Christmas to sell me a verizon package I already have. I intend on telling Verizon how much that makes me want to leave their service.

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crd 12/26/2016 at 8:44 PM

@15 Good luck getting hold of a human at Verizon to talk to, and if you do, please share here. I just got off the phone with someone who is totally disgusted with their lack of human service, getting put on hold or transferred seems the only thing they offer.

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animal lover 12/26/2016 at 11:15 PM

Maybe this is something that a news reporter would like to check into?? Sounds like a story to me- 12 on your side- how about it??

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Eric Huffstutler 12/27/2016 at 10:06 AM

I know these companies hire 3rd party salespeople like they outsource phone customer service. But, these people sound aggressive and unprofessional. I know they think a few people will listen to their spiel but this is a different world from the days of door-to-door vacuum and encyclopedia salesmen… and they should know it.

Let us know if Verizon chimes in about this sales tactic. You may have to call their corporate offices rather than the regular 1-800 number.

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25th ST Mike 12/27/2016 at 12:21 PM

We had one sales rep come by during the early evening back in mid October. Explained the commission aspect, Verizon contracts out and that he found it the best to do door to door versus phone sells. We switched over to Fios and other than a poor install on cable running into house we have had no problems.

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JC 12/27/2016 at 3:38 PM

I just had a call from Comcast saying there was a problem with my internet service and they want to send people out. I haven’t reported anything and my service is working just fine. By the end of the call, the reception was so garbled I just hung up. I didn’t give him an info. Anyone else have something like that?

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Brett 12/27/2016 at 4:16 PM

A person came to my door in Brauers last Thursday around 6:30pm and identified himself to be with Verizon. Something just didn’t seem right. I quickly told him “We good”, (my house has verizon) and shut the door. He continued his pitch awhile after I shut the door.

Didn’t think too much of it until I saw this post.

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Eric Huffstutler 12/28/2016 at 1:52 AM

We had thought about switching to Verizon, several times, until I heard that they too have the same crappy service and customer reps that Comcast does. We have Comcast (4 years now) and had nothing but one problem after another from poor installs, missed appointments, conflicting information, false promises, no call backs or follow ups, service agents on 1st tier who can barely talk let alone understand English. Had new equipment installed, twice as well as cable run from the pole to the house, through the house and to the X1 and WiFi modem by the techs, including a team supervisor, and still have issues with service due to bad signals and error messages they see remotely. I am paying over $190+ each month for my unlimited, high speed bundle and not getting the service paid for yet, it is almost a monopoly. Horrible.

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Eric Huffstutler 12/28/2016 at 2:00 AM

And, Comcast turned off a feature that was needed for my online Texting feature by accident. When I called to complained and had to call back 5 times due to dropped calls or department shuffles. Finally, after nearly 2 hours on the phone, someone turned the feature back on only to find out 4 years of text messages in archives, with phone numbers, were wiped out. They have been “working on it” for 3 weeks, without anyone giving me updates, and still no resolution with recovery, if they can, while I hold them accountable. Just one of my many Comcast experiences.

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Althea Hinds-Catlett
Althea Hinds-Catlett 12/29/2016 at 12:16 PM

Yes, I found them to be “sketchy.” I agree with Debra Abney Barnes’ assessment/comments, except that I have a problem with salespeople coming to our door uninvited. They knocked on our door also, but, by the time I got to the door, I saw that they had walked on in Debra’s direction. They returned later, and one came up to the front door, and the other stayed down the steps and waved hi. Then the 1 at the front door said that Verizon was going to be changing from copper wires to fiber optics, and asked if we were we still using Comcast (which I didn’t think was any of his business). I didn’t answer that question, I stated that we were not currently using Verizon, but he proceeded with different tactics to come back to asking me if we were still using Comcast, to which I kept replying that we were not currently using Verizon, until he got frustrated and jumped down off the steps. I found it to be incredibly rude; and, I don’t think anyone should have the right, salesperson, or not, to walk onto someone’s property, UNINVITED, and knock on their door, and feel that that homeowner/resident owes them their time, or answers to their questions, for their purposes…those days are long gone.

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Dave 01/12/2017 at 10:30 AM

I’m actually one of those guys! Haha Verizon contracts companies that specialize in door to door, unfortunately some of the companies that do door to door hire somewhat unprofessional people. Ensure they have a badge for proper identification, because we’re really not sketchy, just enthusiatic people that like to talk to others and help them out. Verizon actually gives us great deals to give out (sometimes different from what they offer) so it would definately be the best way to save a few extra bucks on the service. They do issue us ‘leads’ with specific addresses to knock on and see how we can help, current customer or not, so when the rep ‘scribbled something’ it was just him marking the leads so he knows not to knock on your door later, because we usually will do 3 laps, meaning if you dont answer your door the first time, expect a second and a third come back (its to ensure we can talk to everyone, since people are home at different times). Also, if anyone is interested in fios, Im your guy

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Moe 03/01/2017 at 7:04 PM

@25 Dave – What type of information do the door to door salespeople ask for? Does in include SSN and birthday? I had someone come by claiming they were from Verizon Fios asking for this information because I was interested in switching, does that sound legit?

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Jose 06/30/2017 at 3:55 PM

@26 Moe Like Dave, I am also a door to door sales rep for Verizon FiOS and everything he said is accurate. As for the information they collect, if you’re truly interested in the services and are willing to go through the process of getting an install set up, then there does need to be a credit/identity check done to ensure that you’re in good standings with Verizon. This check does require your name, birthday, and SSN. Beyond that, they’ll simply request some contact information for a tech to reach you by.

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Eric Huffstutler 07/01/2017 at 11:52 AM

NEVER give your SS# (or Birthdate) to someone who just simply asks for it, especially walking door to door! You open yourself up to identity theft and besides, I think it may even be illegal to do so. If they want to know if you are in good standing with Verizon, then they can call and ask without that so-called “credit check” on the spot. If a SS# is required, I would call Fios and give it to them then or fill out forms to mail. Never to a traveling salesperson.

Note, there is no current law for them asking but the only legitimate people who can are:

• Insurance companies

• Credit card companies, lenders, and any other company receiving a credit application from you

• The three main credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian

• Any company that sells products or services that require notification to the IRS, including investment advisors; banks; real estate purchases; financial transactions over $10,000, such as automobile purchases; and other financial transactions.

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Eric Huffstutler 07/01/2017 at 11:55 AM

Also, It’s important to remember that, once a company has your Social Security number, there are few restrictions on what they can do with it. You’ll therefore want share this information only when absolutely necessary or required by law.

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John 10/22/2018 at 8:04 PM

8 at night guys knocking .this is wrong please stop I don’t want your fucking cable or anything else!!

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