Door-To-Door Solicitors and Peddlers
The Village of Lombard frequently receives questions regarding persons going door to door and soliciting. Please review the following Frequently Asked Questions regarding door to door solicitors:
Does the Village regulate door-to-door solicitors?
Yes, solicitors within the Village of Lombard must apply for and be approved for a permit to solicit in the Village. Solicitors must also adhere to specific guidelines and rules regulating door-to-door solicitation. A list of the solicitors currently holding a permit to solicit within the Village is listed on the Village of Lombard website below (www.villageoflombard.org/solicitors).
Do solicitors need to identify themselves?
Yes, per Village Code, all solicitors should have a Village solicitor’s badge visible on their outer garment at all times when they are engaged in soliciting within the Village. If a solicitor does not display and cannot produce a solicitor’s badge or permit, they may not be licensed to solicit within the Village and may be reported to the Lombard Police Department by calling 911.
Why can’t the Village ban door-to-door solicitors?
The First amendment and the U.S. Constitution protect the rights of door-to-door solicitors and preclude the ability of a community to ban door-to-door sales. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld free speech for commercial purposes and the Village’s ability to restrict commercial door-to-door solicitation is limited to local regulations restricting the time, place and manner of door-to-door solicitations. Homeowners and occupants, however, do have the ultimate right to determine whether solicitors shall or shall not be invited to their residences or property.
What can I do if I do not want solicitors to come to my home?
Prominently display a no soliciting notice on or near the main entrance by way of a sign measuring at least 3” x 4” in size. No soliciting notices should read in letters at least 3/8” in height:
“Only Solicitors or Peddlers Registered in Lombard Invited”
“No Solicitors or Peddlers”
“Charitable Organization Solicitors Only”
“Not For Profit Organization Solicitors Only”
Pre-printed ‘No Solicitors’ stickers may be purchased at the Village Hall for $0.50. It is illegal in the Village of Lombard to solicit at a location where proper No Soliciting signage has been posted. With or without a sign, residents should not ever be afraid to exercise boundaries with solicitors by refusing to answer their door or by politely stating ‘no thank you’ or ‘not interested’ and shutting and locking their door.
What rules apply to door-to-door solicitors in the Village of Lombard?
Per Village Code, solicitors:
- Must cease solicitation upon owner or occupant request;
- Must obey posted “No Solicitor” signs;
- Must display their permit/license conspicuously on their outer garment at all times while they are engaged in soliciting;
- May only ring bells, knock or engage with residents for solicitation between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday (at no time on Sundays or holidays)
What solicitor practices are prohibited?
Under the Village Code, certain solicitation practices are unlawful and prohibited. Per Code, solicitors may NOT:
- Continue to solicit upon any premises after having been requested by the owner or occupant to leave;
- Solicit upon a premises posted against solicitation or peddling;
- Use a plan, scheme or ruse, or make statements to indicate or imply that the purpose of the solicitation is other than to obtain orders or sales;
- Cheat, deceive or fraudulently misrepresent while acting as a solicitor within the Village;
- Interfere with vehicular, bicycles, or pedestrian traffic on any public right-of-way.
The solicitor that came to my home was pushy or rude. Is there something the Village can do?
Beyond the restrictions listed above, the Village of Lombard does not directly regulate demeanor or style of individual sales employees or solicitors. Remember however, that as a homeowner or occupant you may at any time ask a solicitor to leave your property and if they refuse, call 911 for assistance. Every resident has the right to feel secure in their own home and should you ever feel threatened or unsafe based upon the behavior of a solicitor or peddler, please contact the Police immediately. Further, citizens who feel they have been the victim of unlawful solicitation or believe a solicitor is violating the law are urged to contact the Police immediately so that officers may locate the individuals involved and investigate.
The person who came to my home was not selling anything. Does the Village regulate door-to-door advocacy?
The Village does not regulate or license door-to-door advocacy of a position or cause, with or without the distribution of pamphlets, handbills or literature, unless the person is otherwise peddling or soliciting for commercial sales or funds. Solicitors who are not engaged in peddling, commercial sales or fund soliciting are required to comply with the Village Code rules as detailed above and "No-Solicitor" signage, but are not required to pre-register or obtain a permit from the Village to engage in door-to-door advocacy or canvassing.
What about energy providers and alternate residential energy supplier solicitors?
Residents should specifically be aware of door to door energy supplier sales and solicitations. The Village of Lombard does not send people door to door to register residents for the supply of alternate energy. The Village encourages residents who wish to sign up with their own energy provider to initiate first contact with the provider after comparing all rates and options. When evaluating energy suppliers, residents are encouraged to visit the Illinois Commerce Commission’s complaint scorecard which tracks and compares the rate of complaints against retail electric suppliers energy providers at http://www.pluginillinois.org/complaints.aspx.
What should I do if an energy solicitor asks me to show him my bill?
Citizens should never compromise their security by providing utility account information to anyone unless they intend to enroll in an alternate energy program of their own choosing. The Village recommends that residents carefully protect their account information and energy billing information from solicitors and all other non-account holders.
What more can I do to complain about the aggressive or deceptive practices of a solicitor?
The Village encourages residents having complaints about aggressive or deceptive practices of a business to file a consumer complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office at (800)243-0618 or online at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html.
If the complaint involves a utility or retail energy supplier, residents are urged to contact the Illinois Commerce Commission Consumer Services Division which regulates energy retailers by phone at (800)524-0795 or online at www.icc.illinois.gov/consumer/complaint.
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