Before infomercials, telemarketers and the Internet told us what we needed, there were door-to-door salesmen. While there is nothing inherently wrong with it, making a purchase at your doorstep can invite some unique consumer protection issues.
When you buy something from a salesman at your door, you probably made a purchase that you didn’t anticipate making earlier in the day. If you have second thoughts, consumers have three days to cancel for a full refund if they spent $25 or more on the product or service. This right extends until midnight of the third business day after the sale. This rule applies to any sale made in-person at the buyer's home or workplace, or at facilities rented by the seller on a temporary or short-term basis, such as hotel or motel rooms, convention centers, fairgrounds and restaurants, with only limited exceptions.
Door-to-door sales people are required to:
- Explain your cancellation rights at the time of sale
- Provide you with two copies of a cancellation form (one to submit and one for your records)
- Give you a copy of the contract or receipt.
The contract or receipt must:
- Provide the date of the transaction
- Include the seller’s name and contact information
- Explain the consumer’s cancellation rights
- Be in the same language that’s used in the sales presentation
- The salesperson must refund your money within 10 days after you submit a written notice of cancellation.
Limited-time offers. Legitimate offers are always valid beyond the immediate time a sales agent is at your door. Don’t be pressured to take advantage of a time-sensitive offer.
Aggressive tactics. Saying “no” to a sales agent at your door-step is easier than refusing them once they are in your house. If a sales agent refuses to leave and continues to pressure you into making a purchase, call the police.
Shut the door. It’s a sales person’s job to sell you merchandise – whether or not you need it. If you don’t want to buy a product, you do not have to.
Common products sold door-to-door include home security systems and services like construction contracting and home repair, subscriptions to magazines, or solicitations for charitable donations.
Learn More From the Federal Trade Commission
Applicable State Law: