April 23 12

He knocks on my door. I open it only a tiny bit—I know not to let strange men into my house.

He flashes an Enbridge logo and clipboard and says he’s here from Enbridge to check our water heater.

I know not to let strange men into our house. 

But, of late, our water heater has been acting a little on-the-fritz-y and we had someone out just two weeks ago to talk about it, and we had discussed several options re: getting a new heater vs keeping the one that we already have.

I know not to let strange men into our house. 

So, I grilled him at the door like a crazy person for about 20 minutes. I asked eight thousand questions. You are from Enbridge? You are not taking a single penny of my money? In the end, I let him in. Because I was tired. Because I was distracted. Because I was too trusting. Because we had legitimate concerns about our water heater. Because he said he was from Enbridge.

The next thing I knew, I was getting a replacement water heater. The bigger size, he said, for exactly no extra money. I like that deal, I thought. And since I’m not exchanging any money, obviously this is legit. I mean, who would scam me without getting any money in return…that seems daft, right?

I know not to let strange men into our house. 

CUT TO SATURDAY NIGHT AT LOVELY MEXICAN RESTAURANT.

Why does our water heater say ENPURE and not ENBRIDGE?

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

I have no idea.

There is no queso and giant margarita for me.

There is ugly the ugly cry.

All it takes is for a single google search with the words “enpure scam” to know that this is exactly what happened.

SCAMMED.

Because I was too trusting. Because I fell for a fake Enbridge logo. Because I knew not to let strange men into my house. But I did it anyway. 

I am sick over this. Sick. I let this man into my home. I let him talk to my children. I let him LIE TO MY FACE and take advantage of me.  I can’t believe I allowed this to happen. I didn’t ask enough questions. I wasn’t suspicious enough. I didn’t ask for a card. I didn’t ask him to come back.

I LET HIM IN.

Sadly, I’m not the first stupid person in my neighborhood. (I’m likely not the last either…)

I think this is fixable. (I am learning from the people who have been scammed before.)

It has to be fixable. (And I will teach the people who might be scammed in the future.)

It has to be.

But, I have to ask, HOW IS THIS LEGAL? How can these men be allowed to misrepresent themselves in this way and prey on young moms and nannies and the elderly? I still feel sick that I even allowed him to walk into my house. SICK, because I know better. I turn people away from my front door almost daily, sometimes several times a day. I have completely stopped answering my phone because of all of the gross people out there hoping to swindle a little bit of something from me.

How do these people sleep at night?

Because I know that I sure never will again.

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  1. Ali – I did the SAME if it makes you feel better. The only thing was as I was about to sign something the commercials with the ‘but he had a clipboard’ came into my head. don’t be too hard on yourself – but I understand. I felt exactly the same about letting him into my house and all of that.

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    Comment by Sara on April 23, 2012
  2. That is truly disgusting. I am so sorry that happened to you. I really don’t know how people like that sleep at night.

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    Comment by Corey Feldman on April 23, 2012
  3. I’m sorry Ali. It’s a violation pure and simple. You know better though and a) it’ll never happen again and b) I bet you help a lot of people with this blog. :)

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    ali replied on

    I REALLY hope that people learn from this. For real. I don’t want anyone to be as dumb as I was. It’s the worst feeling.

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    Comment by Candace on April 23, 2012
  4. Oh shit, Ali. I’m so so sorry this happened to you. Seriously, WTF is wrong with these people.

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    Comment by Sharon on April 23, 2012
  5. In your defense he somehow knew that you were already HAVING water heater troubles. I mean, does this guy have voodoo powers to know which houses to go to?

    I hope it all gets resolved with little headache or heartache.

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    ali replied on

    I actually think it was just a ridiculous coincidence that paid off for him. Sadly.

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    Comment by Jen on April 23, 2012
  6. Ali, I’m so sorry this happened to you and I hope you sort things out. In the meantime, I’m going to share your story so that it doesn’t happen to other people.

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    ali replied on

    Thanks Eden. I really hope everyone learns from this!

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    Comment by Eden Spodek on April 23, 2012
  7. This is my nightmare. I never, ever, ever, ever let ANYONE into my house. In fact, I generally don’t even answer the door in the day time. It’s that pathetic. I hope you can get this fixed. :(

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    Comment by Alexandria on April 23, 2012
  8. Thanks for sharing this because it will make other people aware of what can happen. I hope everything works out for you. Would you mind if I put a link to your blog on my blog? I would like to pass your message around so that others will be aware too. If you do mind, I completely understand.

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    ali replied on

    PLEASE pass it on and share.
    please.

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    Anne Rodrigues replied on

    Thank you. I have had these people with the clipboard, asking to see a bill, come to my door as well. So, it’s a good reminder for everyone.

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    Comment by Anne Rodrigues on April 23, 2012
  9. This actually really pisses me off. How can they get away with this?? How come they aren’t stopped??
    I know we had something like this happen – it started with a phone call regarding a “short air quality survey” and at the end we were entered into a draw to either win a Slap Chop (hahah) or a trip (hahaha), well, lo and behold, we won the Slap Chop and they stopped by (whyyyyyy did I give them our address) to drop it off and guess what??? He was just going to do a “quick presentation about the air quality in our home” – 2 hours later he wanted to sell us a vacuum and air purifier for the low low price of $5000, but can he just use our phone, he will call his boss and see if he can get a lower price” … what do you know? he can sell it to us, right now, if we can pay cash, for $1500. I didnt realize it was a scam at all, until we finally convinced him that NO we werent going to buy it, so he just needed to use our kitchen sink to wash it all up, getting ready for his next “showing” . It was all so effed up and I felt totally violated at the end (thankfully my husband was home too). We called the police and there is actually an organization that is set up to catch these people… so they were reported and were eventually run out of town *obvs harder to do in a big city* – maybe a quick google search could find out who to report it to.
    Sorry this happened, I know how you feel.
    Oh, and also – the Slap Chop was totally used. So sad, I really wanted it!!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by ItsAmy on April 23, 2012
  10. That is just wrong, creepy and it’s got to be illegal! How could you suspect? You asked all the right questions, the circumstances were appropriate, there isn’t anything you could have done differently. I’m sending my dog to the door from now on. An 85 lbs protective Shepherd should keep them away.

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    Comment by Kat on April 23, 2012
  11. Oh Ali, that SUCKS! I am glad that everyone is OK, though.

    I fell for one of these on the phone. They were looking for my mom or something and I gave them her number. Then I did some quick Googling and found it was a scam and luckily caught my mom before she gave out her checking account number to someone.

    I hate that this is the world we live in. I know we all know better, but why are these things happening? Why is this a thing? Why are human beings such assholes to other people? We should be able to TRUST people. It’s sad we can’t.

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    ali replied on

    EXACTLY. Why is this even A THING??

    *grumble*

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    Comment by Kristabella on April 23, 2012
  12. Well that just sucks! A couple years ago I bought a No Soliciting sign for my front door. And people still knock on it! The worst is the kids asking to mow my lawn. Dammit. I just hope there’s no lasting damage, blergh.

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    Comment by monstergirlee on April 23, 2012
  13. Ack! Glad I’m not the only one! I have done this. And when I looked at the paperwork after he left…I thought “heeeeey…something’s not right here.” So, I phone the Husband…who cannot understand why and how I took leave of my senses. Needless to say, I phone the guy right back and cancel. However, this way of doing business is so pervasive…but it should be stopped!

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    Comment by elissapr on April 23, 2012
  14. That is so awful, Ali. If it makes you feel any better, there are so many scams and they keep getting more and more sophisticated. It is sad but I truly believe that it is only a matter of time before everyone falls for one scam or another. I am so sorry and I really hope that you can fix it. I really think that sharing your story will help other people before they too get fooled.

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    Comment by Jen on April 23, 2012
  15. It’s just sickening how horrible people can be. I hate that you can literally trust no one now.
    It makes me feel sorry for any legitimate door to door salesman. I just always feel uneasy whenever anyone “cold call” us at the front door.
    What are the repercussions with this? How did it work that you didn’t have to exchange any money?

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    Comment by Gamanda on April 23, 2012
  16. Oh my gosh… I am so sorry, Ali. It’s a bad situation for so many reasons, but that feeling of being violated, that’s the very worst. xo

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    Comment by Loukia on April 23, 2012
  17. Brutal! I got taken years ago at our old house with something similar – not fun.
    When we first moved here, there were 3 men that once came to my door and I immediately had my back up. I told them no, twice, to whatever it was they were peddling (they wanted to see my hydro bill.) One guy was very insistent. I opened my door just wide enough to let the dog onto the porch, and said, “I SAID NO – GET OFF OF MY PORCH.” All three men quickly left.
    Now I don’t answer the door if I don’t know the person. I don’t care that they can see me – I give to the charities that I choose to, and everyone else can go away. My big dog usually scares them off pretty quick.

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    Comment by Karen Sugarpants on April 23, 2012
  18. You poor thing! But shake it off, sista. I’m just so thankful no one was hurt! Maybe God was preparing you for the next time, when you’ll stand your ground when it matters. This time, you were so lucky!

    As my husband says when I royally screw up, “it’s just money.” Not the end of the world.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amanda Hill on April 24, 2012
  19. [...] Martell has a great blog called Cheaper Than Therapy.  Her blog post for April 23, 2012, is a good reminder of what can happen when you trust people at [...]

    Pingback by Just Say “NO”! | No More Dirty Diapers on April 24, 2012
  20. It seems like you figured it out in time to fix it, and you have legal rights and protections against it, so you’ll be okay. I hate that this happened to you at all, though. That is ridiculous, and it’s not your fault. A good salesman can convince anyone of anything.

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    Comment by Avitable on April 26, 2012
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