- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) - A door-to-door saleswoman whose tactics have been criticized by residents is no longer allowed to sell books in Ludington after city officials moved to revoke her vendor registration.

Claire Whitcomb, who refers to herself as “Bookgirl,” works for Nashville-based Southwestern Advantage, a company that recruits college students to sell products door to door across the country. The permit allowing Whitcomb to sell books in Ludington was revoked after some residents complained to police and officials at City Hall, the Ludington Daily News (https://bit.ly/1IG0Ef3 ) reported.

City Clerk Deborah Luskin said this is the first time in 10 years on the job that she’s had to pull such a permit. The city of Ludington typically issues three to four permits each year to people who want to go door to door in its neighborhoods, Luskin said, adding that the rules are made clear when a permit is issued.

“I explain that if we do get any complaints from the residents, we will call the supervisor,” says City Clerk Deborah Luskin. “At that point, if we continue to get complaints, we will pull the permit.”

Ludington residents accused Whitcomb of knocking on people’s windows, coming into their garages, name-dropping local teachers and neighbors, and seeking additional information about people in the community. One woman contacted the city after she said Whitcomb grabbed her arm when she tried to walk away.

“At that point, we don’t tolerate that,” Luskin said. “That’s accosting someone else … so I contacted the supervisor and Claire Whitcomb and explained we were pulling the permit.”

On her Facebook page, Whitcomb recently posted a letter addressed to Mason County, apologizing to anyone in the community who felt she was “pushy” or “rude” while trying to make a sale.

A representative from Southwestern Advantage told WPBN-TV (https://bit.ly/1ewHHxv ) that Whitcomb has had positive interactions with 90 percent of the 2,000 families she has visited so far this summer.

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