From vacuum cleaners and home alarms, to yard and home repair services, the summer season means a spike in door-to-door sales.
And the state Office of Consumer Protection is urging residents to know your rights before you sign on the dotted line.
What happens if a door-to-door salesperson comes to your house and convinces you to buy something that you don’t really want? Maybe you’ll just sign the sales contract to get them out of the house, or you have second thoughts about it, because a lot of times, it’s a very high pressure sale.
Office director Stephen Levins says the law gives customers the right to cancel the service or return the product within three business days for a full refund, but only if it’s done in writing.
The seller must also provide a cancellation form at the time of the sale and customers must receive a receipt or copy of the sales contract.
“Door-to-door sales have been around for a long time,” Levins says. “There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, a lot of people like it, and it does provide a service, but the three-day cancellation is there to protect consumers who, upon reflection, don’t want to go forward with this.”
If customers feel they’ve been taken advantage of, Levins says they can consider other options if the three-day window has passed. “The merchant who goes to the person’s house may have engaged in fraud. They may tell them that the product has specific characteristics that it clearly doesn’t have.”
When dealing with door-to-door sales, Better Business Bureau Hawaii recommends you:
- Ask for identification if someone claims to work for a company.
- Read the contract before you sign it.
- And don’t be afraid to say no, especially if you feel pressured.
If you have a consumer concern or are interested in being an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or send an email to email@example.com.