CONSUMER ALERT: Doorbell Dealings
July 19, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Door-to-door salespeople are trying to take advantage of Arkansans at home. Summer is a popular time for home solicitors to hit the streets, selling home improvement projects, home security systems, newspapers, magazines and more. They frequently use high pressure sales tactics to make the deal and sometimes consumers walk away regretting the purchase.
“Some door-to-door salespeople know that many of us are busy while at home and try to capitalize on a homeowner’s distraction,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “But Arkansans need to know that if they agree to make a purchase from someone at their doorstep, or even at any other location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business, they have three days to cancel the sale with no penalty.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for those who may be faced with a salesperson at their door:
- Because these solicitations can be stressful, prepare a “just say no” script ahead of time and practice it. For example, you could respond to the salesperson by saying, “Thank you for coming by, but we are not in need of your product or service. Have a good day.” Then close your door.
- Some cities require that a door-to-door salesperson obtain a license or certification prior to engaging in sales. Check with local authorities for more information.
- Take a few days to consider the sales offer. It may be advantageous to shop around or do research to make sure the deal is legitimate.
- Do not allow a salesperson to install any product the same day. However, if equipment is installed in the home prior to the end of the three-day cancelation window, a consumer still has 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, a consumer could eventually pay for the product with high-cost, long-term contracts.
- Do not give into 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.”
- Never let a salesperson into your home unless they have provided proper identification and you have determined exactly what he or she wants.
The Arkansas Home Solicitation Act applies to purchases of $25 or more and requires a salesperson to verbally inform consumers of their cancellation rights at the time of the sale. The seller must also leave the customer with two copies of the cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt. One exception to the Act is if a consumer requests a home visit for immediate repair of personal property, such as heating and air systems or appliances.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.