PORTLAND -- A door-to-door sales team hawking a miracle cleaner has become the focus of police in Milwaukie after calls of concern from homeowners.
A team of approximately thirty "T & B Sales" representatives arrived in the state early this month after driving from Bakersfield, California. Shortly after their arrival, property owners in Lake Oswego, Troutdale, and Milwaukie called police to report cases of aggressive sales tactics.
"Aggressive solicitation from some of the sales people who are coming around, also concerns that they are asking to come inside people's residences and that's making some of the citizens feel very uncomfortable," explained Ulli Neitch of the Milwaukie Police Department.
The salesmen were selling an all-purpose cleaner called "Advanage", but a quick on-line search found concerns nation-wide about the product's validity. Jackie Calder was approached Wednesday in North Portland and quickly checked the company's record.
She found warnings of bait and switch, incidents of cleaning products used for demonstration purposes and colored water sold to customers. Calder demanded to receive the demonstration bottle and was denied.
"I said I want that bottle. Oh no. Oh no," explained Calder.
Calder called Newschannel 8 before the salesperson could leave her home. T & B saleswoman Andrea defended the product as one of the best in the country.
"T & B Sales is not a company that does that [bait & switch] because all Advanage bottles have tamper proof seals on them," said Andrea.
Jay Lewis, another salesman, was found just a few blocks from Calder's home. He explained how he introduced himself to customers.
"Hello sir, my name is Jay Lewis. I'm from Fresno, California and I'm out here talking to your wonderful neighbors about our wonderful cleaning product called Advantage. Have you heard, read or seen it before?"
Lewis says he's been trained to be respectful and positive.
His manager said those who were aggressive in Milwaukie have been let go.
The Better Business Bureau gives T & B Sales an "F" rating. In 2008, the Oregon Attorney General issued a fraud alert after T & B Sales representatives working in Yamhill and Marion counties were arrested for fraud, theft and drug dealing.