Educational Consumer Tips
Author: Better Business Bureau
The following is BBB general information and is not intended as a report on any specific company.
The Federal Trade Commission's Cooling-Off Rule states that a purchase over $25, your right to cancel a contract for a full refund extends until midnight on the third business day after the sale (Saturday is considered a business day; Sundays and federal holidays are not). The Cooling-Off Rule only applies to sales at the buyer's home, workplace or dormitory, or at a temporary workplace of the seller (such as hotel or motel rooms, conventions centers, fairgrounds or restaurants).
Also, the contract or receipt must be in the same language used during the sales presentation. In New York State the three-day cooling-off period does not begin until the seller gives you the "Notice Of Cancellation" form. Until a form is received, you may cancel the door-to-door sale by notifying the seller at any time, in any manner. You do not have to give a reason for canceling; it is your right to change your mind. Nevertheless, it is suggested you send the cancellation notice in writing. You should send a certified letter with return receipt requested.
If you terminate a contract, within 10 business days the merchant must 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 pick up any items left with you, or, if you agree, pay any shipping expenses for you to ship them back. If you received any goods from the seller, you must make them available to the seller in as good condition as when you received them. If you do not make the items available to the seller, or if you agree to return the items and fail to do so, you remain obligated under the contract.
However, there are some exceptions to the Cooling-Off Rule. The rule does NOT apply to:
If you paid by credit card and a billing dispute arises, you should notify the credit card company and dispute the purchase.
If you have a complaint that may concern the Cooling-Off Rule the BBB suggests you contact: