CONSUMER ALERT: DON’T OPEN THE DOOR TO TROUBLE
LITTLE ROCK - Who's that knocking at your door? In some cases, it's trouble.
It's that time of year where Arkansas homeowners will notice an uptick in door-to-door sales, with solicitors often peddling home improvements or home security systems. Many of the sellers will offer legitimate items that benefit consumers, but sometimes the product doesn't live up to the sales pitch.
In those circumstances, Arkansas law protects consumers who are subject to high-pressure sales tactics and may be having second thoughts about agreeing to a purchase or a long-term contract. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to inform Arkansans about their rights under the Arkansas Home Solicitation Sales Act.
"It may be difficult to say no to someone standing on your front porch and promising you what appears to be a great deal," McDaniel said. "However, as we have said before, some offers are just too good to be true. In the event someone falls victim to false promises or has second thoughts after a high-pressure sale, there's a remedy under Arkansas law."
The Home Solicitation Sales Act gives consumers the right to cancel any home-solicitation sale within three days of purchasing the item or service. Consumers may cancel a sale made at their home or at any location that is not the seller's permanent place of business.
Consumers have until midnight after the third business day to cancel purchases of $25 or more and demand a full refund. They may cancel for any reason.
The law requires a salesperson to verbally inform consumers of their cancellation rights at the time the sale or contract is completed. The seller must also provide a cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt.
McDaniel offered this advice to those who would open their door to salespersons:
•No matter how attractive the deal being offered may be, take a few days to consider the offer. It may be advantageous to shop around or do research to make sure the deal is legitimate.
•Never allow a salesperson to install any product, such as an alarm system, in a home on the same day the seller comes to the door. Take the time to consider the offer. However, even if equipment or other items are installed in the home prior to the end of the three-day cancellation window, consumers still have the right to cancel the sale or contract.
•Be wary of "free" installation or equipment deals. Even if something is initially offered free of charge in order to make a sale more attractive, consumers will eventually pay for the product with high-cost, long term contracts.
•Don't fall for the same clichés often used in high-pressure sales pitches, such as offers being "for today only," that a home has been "specially selected" for a deal, or that the seller is "trying to get rid of extra inventory."
McDaniel said consumers should keep in mind that there are limited exceptions to the Home Solicitation Sales Act. Those include repairs of personal property, such as heating and air systems or appliances.
For more information about this or other consumer issues, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982 or visit the Consumer Protection Division's website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.