Door-to-Door Sales Rules Can Help Consumers
Who’s that knocking at your door? It could be a salesman. Yes, the days of people going door to door to sell products seem to be in our past, but door to door solicitations still happen. Think, for example, of a repair company coming to solicit people whose homes have been damaged in a storm, or landscapers knocking at your door to clean up your greenery.
Florida’s Door to Door Sales Laws
Florida’s door to door sales laws apply to the sale of products, but also to attempts to sell leases, services, or consumer goods. The law applies to any attempt to sell goods that cost more than $25.
Although the term “door to door” traditionally has been meant to mean your home, it applies to any attempt to sell you a good (or engage in “personal solicitation”) somewhere other than the seller’s place of business.
Door to door salespeople must have a permit. In some cases, applicants can be denied if they have a criminal history, which is the state’s way of at least trying to protect you from wrongdoers coming to your door. If you are going to entertain door to door salespeople, ask for a permit for some extra safety.
Writings and Cancellations
There is a common myth that there is an automatic right to cancel any contract within three days. This is false…except with home solicitation contracts. Any contract, transaction or purchase made that is considered a door to door solicitation can be cancelled or voided by the consumer within three days.
The notice need not have any magic, special legal language, however, it must be in writing and the law does not specifically say that email is an acceptable way to give such notice. After sending the cancellation notice, the seller then has 10 days to return any money paid back to the consumer.
Another common myth is that contracts need to be in writing. Many do not…however, contracts for goods or services sold through a door to door solicitation must be in writing. Every contract must have specific language notifying the consumer of his or her right to cancel the agreement.
There are some situations that will not qualify as a door to door solicitation, and thus, these protections will not be available for consumers.
Offers where the solicitation is requested by the consumer do not qualify (for example, if you signed your name on an interest card at an exhibit indicating your interest in a product or a willingness to be solicited). Being solicited at a business or commercial exhibition is not considered a door to door solicitation even though it is not the seller’s primary place of business.
There is no specific right to sue when a solicitor violates the law. However, consumers can void contracts, and certainly defend any attempts at collection by those who are trying to collect on debts incurred in violation of the door to door sales rule.
If someone is trying to enforce a debt against you that you don’t owe, or which was obtained illegally, contact the Miami consumer rights attorneys at Jacobs Legal today.