Three-Day Cooling-Off Period
The Federal and New York State law protects consumers from problems with this type of selling practice.
The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) regulations concerning a "Cooling-Off Period for Door-to-Door Sales" allow you to cancel certain types of door-to-door contracts. The "cooling-off period" gives you three days in which to change your mind about purchases of $25 or more made in the home or in a place other than the seller's normal place of business. It also applies to sales presentations given in private homes of yourself and others and restaurants. The rule applies when a sales person comes to your home uninvited, when you invite a merchant to your home or someone else's home, or when you meet a salesperson on a street corner. In all these situations, you still have your cancellation rights.
Under the regulations you have three business days of signing the contract to cancel without penalty. you change your mind about an item or service that you have agreed to buy in a door-to-door sale, the agreement can be canceled without penalty.
Whenever you make a purchase of goods or services in your home, or in any of the places mentioned previously, the salesperson is required to give you a copy of the receipt or contract containing the date of sale and the salesperson's name. Close to where you sign your name, the following should appear:
"You, the buyer may cancel this transaction at any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of this transaction. See the attached notice of cancellation form for an explanation of this right."
The salesperson is also required to give you two copies of a "Notice of Cancellation" attached to the contract or receipt, and easily detachable. The notice contains a full explanation of your right to cancel and the procedure that you must follow. It must also include the date of your right to cancel. Until the seller complies with the law, you may cancel by notifying the seller in any manner.
To cancel, sign and date one copy of the cancellation form. Then mail or hand deliver it to the address given for cancellation any time before midnight of the third business day after the contract date. Saturdays count as business days, Sundays do not. Keep the other copy for your records. Proof of mailing date and proof of receipt are important, so, although it is not required, you should send a letter from your local post office by certified mail, with return receipt requested.
You do not have to give a reason for canceling. It is your right under the law to change your mind.
If you cancel, the merchant must, within ten days, cancel and return any papers you signed, refund your money, tell you whether any product left with you will be picked up, and return any trade-in. Within 20 days, the merchant must either pick up the items left with you, or , if you agree, pay any shipping expenses for you to ship them back.
The "cooling-off" rule does not cover sales: made at the seller's place of business; made totally by mail or telephone; of less than $25; of real estate, insurance or securities; or for emergency home repairs initiated or completed within three days.
New York State Law
In New York State, the three-day cooling-off period begins when the salesperson gives you the "Notice of Cancellation" form to be used if you choose to cancel. To be complete, the Notice must include the name of the seller, the address of the seller's place of business, the date of the transaction, and the date, not earlier than the third business day following the transaction, by which you may give notice of cancellation. Until you get the completed form, you may cancel the door-to-door sale by notifying the seller at any time, in any manner.
Disclosure of Refund Policies
New York State law requires that a door-to-door sales contract or receipt contain the seller's refund policy. If no policy is disclosed, then the seller is liable to you for a cash refund or a credit of the total price, whichever you decide, provided that you make the demand within 20 days from the date of delivery of the purchased item and provided that the merchandise is in substantially good condition. This provision does not supersede a merchant's refund policy that allows for return of merchandise more than 20 days after the date of delivery. The amount you paid the seller shall be refunded or credited to you within ten days after the date of delivery or within ten days of the date of the return of the merchandise.