Pinellas County warns residents about salesmen lacking permits

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – If you answer the door when Javier Montalvo knocks, you’ll hear a sales pitch to buy replacement windows. Montalvo said he makes up to $600 per week, signing people up for appointments to receive estimates.

There’s a problem, though. Montalvo doesn’t have a home solicitation permit, which is required by Pinellas County.

“Actually, (I) have an ID,” he explained. That’s not good enough.

“You actually need a home solicitation permit that would be issued by the clerk of the court within each county,” said Doung Templeton with Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Protection.

News Channel 8 just happened to find Montalvo in the area when we were trying to find men selling for “Energy Solutions Direct.” 8 On Your Side found out these men don’t have home solicitation permits either.

Charles Dugan, with Energy Solutions, sent News Channel 8 a picture of his Clearwater permit, but he and another sales guy were in Pinellas County – not the city.

Those permits are important. “You do have to go through a background check, a criminal background check. You have to provide pictures. You’re provided with an actual ID that you have to wear, and when you go to speak to individuals at their homes, you would want to present that ID,” Templeton said.

Neighbor George Benhem heard the pitch. ”The first and only words out of my mouth were, ‘I’m not interested. Thank you very much,’” he said.

For window salesman Javier Montalvo, a permit seems like a formality. “I’m getting paid, so I really don’t care, to be honest, so we’re providing a service to the homeowners. A lot of homeowners are actually looking for this,” he said.

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