CONSUMER ALERT: KNOW THE LAW ON DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES

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May 14, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Door-to-door solicitations typically increase in the spring, as do complaints to the Attorney General’s Office about unscrupulous salespeople.

While there are no problems with the majority of items or services provided by door-to-door solicitors, some use high-pressure sales tactics and misrepresentations to cajole consumers into purchasing things they may not necessarily want or need.

The Arkansas Home Solicitation Sales Act protects Arkansans who have second thoughts about buying from door-to-door salespeople, and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to inform consumers about the law.

“Arkansas consumers have the right to cancel a contract made with a person who shows up at their front door, whether the seller is marketing home improvements, home security systems or even magazines,” McDaniel said. “When a consumer regrets falling for a high-pressure sale, or decides that an offer was probably too good to be true, then this law is an effective recourse.”

McDaniel provided Arkansas consumers with this information about the law:

FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE STATE’S DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES LAW

1. Consumers can cancel any home-solicitation sale within three days of purchasing an item or service.

2. Sellers must verbally inform buyers of their cancellation rights, and sellers must provide to buyers two copies of a cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt.

3. Consumers have three days to cancel. They can cancel for any reason.

4. Consumers can cancel a contract during the three-day period regardless of whether the seller has already installed equipment.

The law applies to purchases of $25 or more, and some exceptions apply. Among the exceptions are repairs to personal property, such as heating and air systems or appliances.

Additionally, McDaniel provided these tips for those considering a purchase from a door-to-door salesperson.

STAY ALERT FOR THESE PHRASES: Salespeople who are “just taking a survey,” “trying to get rid of extra inventory,” “for today only” or selling in “specially selected” neighborhoods are most likely the types of sellers that consumers should avoid.

NOTHING IS FREE: When something like equipment or installation is initially offered free of charge in order to make the deal sound more attractive, there’s usually a cost in the form of long-term contracts or expensive monthly rates.

SHOP AROUND: The first deal might not be the best deal. It’s always better to get estimates and compare prices from other vendors.

ASK AROUND: Friends and family may have recommendations about products and services. Doing research about a company or asking people who have previously done business with the company is always a good way to determine whether an offer is a good one.

For more information about the state’s Home Solicitation Sales Act, or for answers to questions about other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org. The Consumer Protection Division hotline is (800) 482-8982.

 

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