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Your Stories: couple's encounter with "pushy salesman"

Updated: Wednesday, July 10 2013, 03:56 PM EDT

Penfield, N.Y. --- A Penfield couple is describing a scary encounter they had with a door-to-door meat salesman this week.  It was one that led them to call police and 13WHAM News out of fear others may experience the same thing.

It happened around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when a salesman approached the Crombach's Plank Road home.

"(He) came to the front door, came across went to the side door, opened the aluminum door, opened the side door, and came into the garage," Kathleen Crombach explained.

She goes on to say that the salesman walked past a “No Soliciting” and a “Beware of Dog” sign and proceeded through the garage and nearly through a door that would’ve placed him in the couple’s kitchen.

"The first thing my husband said was get out of my garage," Crombach explained while adding that it then escalated.  "My husband again said, get out of my garage and then the man started yelling obscenities, threatened my husband and started calling him an old man…and threatened him, I'm bigger than you, I'm younger than you, you're nothing but an old man I can not knock the crap out of you stuff like that he threatened verbally violence towards my husband."

For Crombach the encounter brought back memories of years prior when she was a victim of a home invasion assault.

"It automatically takes you back to where you were," she said while adding that she wanted to speak out because she’s concerned about the safety of some of her elderly neighbors.

Police helped the Crombach’s trace the salesman to a company called Premier Steak & Seafood based in Yorkville, NY near Utica.

"Unfortunately the Better Business Bureau has had a report on this company since 2010," Peggy Penders a BBB spokeswoman said.

The BBB gives this company an "F-rating" and references nine recent complaints filed against Premier Steak & Seafood and states that seven of them the company failed to respond to.

"We're very concerned about this industry as a whole,” Penders continued.  “Selling meat door-to-door or anything door-to-door is really questionable we really ask consumers to be aware."

The company’s owner, Sam Siracusa, was quick to personally respond to 13WHAM News when we reached him about this report.  In a lengthy phone conversation he expressed his concern over the allegation but also noted how his sales reps are in many ways independent contractors.

Siracusa said he’d look into this report and make efforts to make things right with the Crombach’s.  He went on to explain that he’s currently based in Southern California and that he operates a large company that recently underwent a change of management in his Utica-area location.

When asked about the many pending complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, Siracusa quickly responded by saying he wants to rectify that situation and that while he’s not an accredited BBB business now he intends to be.

“I’m going to clean up all that activity there,” Siracusa said in a very genuine manner.  He even called 13WHAM News back moments after our first conversation and said he had already called the BBB and that the offices were closed for the day but he’d be following up this week.  Siracusa said he’s been dealing in the meat business since 1987 and he wants to make things right.

A spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office tells 13WHAM News that deputies do not see any criminal act that would warrant charges in this instance.  Like the BBB the Sheriff’s Office acknowledged that this time of year door-to-door sales are prevalent for a variety of industries.  Both agencies advise customers and homeowners to be wary, not feel obligated to purchase anything from a door-to-door salesperson, and to not hesitate to call 911 if the encounter escalates to an uncomfortable level.

Your Stories: couple's encounter with "pushy salesman"


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