Who is Knocking?
May 4, 2016
Door-to-door salespeople are hitting the streets, selling home improvement projects, home security systems, newspapers, magazines and much more. Sometimes they use high-pressure sales tactics, and occasionally the salesperson misrepresents the products they are selling. Arkansans may have second thoughts about the purchase and want to cancel the item or service, and Arkansas law protects consumers who find themselves in any of these situations.
The Arkansas Home Solicitation Sales Act gives Arkansans the right to cancel any home solicitation sale within three days of purchasing the item or services. Consumers can also cancel a sale made at any location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business, such as fair booths.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released today’s consumer alert to inform Arkansans about their rights under the Arkansas Home Solicitation Sales Act.
“Arkansas consumers need to know their rights when it comes to door-to-door solicitations,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It can be difficult to say no to a seller standing at your front door, but consumers can cancel a contract at any point during the three-day period, for any reason, even if the seller has already installed equipment.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to Arkansans 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 before purchasing.
- 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 cancellation 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 Home Solicitation Sales 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 or contract is completed. The seller must leave the customer with two copies of the cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt.
The Act has limited exceptions and does not apply when the consumer requests a home visit, for example, to repair personal property, such as heating and air systems or appliances.
For more information on home solicitations and other consumer-related issues or to file a consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.