Rules tighten on door-to-door sales

City council members have voted to make door-to-door sales much more restrictive in Bridge City after neighbors complained about pushy security system sales reps.

New regulations require vendors to operate between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

City manager Jerry Jones said the out-of-state company had legal permits, but was causing homeowners concern, knocking on doors in the evening.

"One of the keys is to make sure that the people out there are legitimate," Jones said. "That's why we have the fees we have and the license requirement."

Neighbors like Tony Seamann who encountered the vendors said the problem was also in the peddlers aggressive sales tactics.

Seamann said he was told by one seller that the man wouldn't be picked up from the neighborhood until he met his quota for the day. He said he's hoping the new ordinance helps with the problem.

"I realize it ain't going to stop it completely and it ain't going to happen overnight," he said, "but I think we really need it, seems like the area has been really targeted."

Door-to-door sales can't be banned completely since federal court ruled solicitation counts as freedom of speech. Jones said they have no intentions of stopping non-profit groups from getting out into the community.

"The Girl Scout cookies and religious groups, we have no intentions of regulating anything like that," Jones said.

In August 2013, the City of Beaumont proposed an ordinance that would have required vendor fees for door-to-door sales. However, the ordinance failed after some argued that if the city charges vendors, they should also charge non-profits, like the Girl Scouts.


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