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Door-to-door sales complaints on the rise in Gallatin as temporary ban ends

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 16:53:31-04

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gallatin has ended its temporary ban on door-to-door sales, leaving homeowners on the fence whether ending the ban is good or bad.

Some homeowners have even filed complaints with the Gallatin Police Department, but the rights of both residents and salespersons concerning door-to-door sales are often misunderstood.

As door-to-door sales permits are on the rise, so are the complaints received by the Gallatin Police Department. GPD has recorded 30 complaints since May 5, ranging from harassment, suspected fraud, and visiting homes that are on Gallatin’s voluntary “Do Not Solicit” list.

On March 31, Mayor Paige Brown signed Executive Order 2020-4, suspending all door-to-door sales to protect residents from COVID-19 exposure during the pandemic. The city’s State of Emergency and Declaration of a Civil Emergency ended on May 5, opening the door for these types of sales to resume.

According to records obtained from the Gallatin Recorder’s Office, 46 permits were obtained between May 5 and July 13. Of those permitted, 38 of 46 listed their permanent address outside of Tennessee. All 46 permits were related to sales of pest control services.

A few rules for solicitors:

- Residents should renew their registration on the City Recorder’s Office “Do not Solicit list” every year. Every solicitor is given a list organized by the street. A free “Do Not Solicit” sticker is available from the city to place on your door, but a sign at an entryway of a neighborhood does not carry any legal authority.

- Solicitors are not allowed to operate between dusk and 9 a.m.

- Solicitors may only approach the front door of the house and are not permitted access to the rear of a resident’s property.

- The Recorders Office can only deny an application if a solicitor breaks a municipal code.

- Solicitors are required to leave if they are asked by the homeowner. Residents should contact the police department if a solicitor refuses to leave or engages in harassment.

To be registered on the “Do Not Solicit List” or to learn more about solicitation rules, City of Gallatin residents may visit gallatintn.gov or call the Gallatin Recorder’s Office at 615-451-5895.

Door stickers are free but must be picked up at Gallatin City Hall at 132 West Main Street. If you have concerns about someone soliciting in your neighborhood, please call the Gallatin Police Department’s non-emergency line at 615-452-1313.