Ca. firm cited for Kennett Twp. solicitation

Nearly a dozen Kennett Township residents reached out to police during the last few days after an unpleasant encounter with a California-based company that possesses a questionable reputation.

Kennett Township Police want to remind residents to report any suspicious activity.

Kennett Township Police want to remind residents to report any suspicious activity.

The website for Worldwide Readers, Inc., a door-to-door magazine sales business, describes the company as a vehicle for providing on-the-job training. “There are many individuals who have a hard time finding employment and even more who have a hard time acquiring work experience,” the website says. “Our mission is to bridge this gap and … to train and motivate young adults to grow into their greater self.”

But that goal has generated numerous online complaints about high-pressure tactics and an inability to cancel subscriptions, even some suggestions that the business provides ex-cons with an opportunity to case homes.

Most area municipalities have anti-solicitation ordinances that, at the very least, require companies to obtain a permit to operate. Kennett Township is no exception, said Police Chief Lydell Nolt.

He said on Saturday, Sept. 3, that the department received 11 complaints directly related to aggressive tactics being used by Worldwide Readers, Inc.,during a 36-hour period that began about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1. Nolt said a group was dropping salespeople off throughout the area, who would then go door-to-door.

Nolt said the company did not obtain a solicitation permit from Kennett Township. Companies that comply with the solicitation ordinance are issued an identification card from the township. A list of approved companies is posted on the township’s website, and residents can always contact the township or the police to verify, he said.

The company and several of its representative were cited for violating the solicitation ordinance, Nolt said. “As always, residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to 911,” he added.

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