Home solicitations

Home solicitation sales

Kentucky law concerning home solicitation sales give you three days to cancel a purchase that is made at your home and costs more than $25. However, this law does not apply to sales involving insurance or goods provided in an emergency at the request of the buyer.

If you agree to purchase an item at the seller's place of business and then the seller comes to your home to complete the sale, you cannot use the "three-day cooling off" option. This law was passed to protect you from door-to-door salespersons who may pressure you into purchasing an item that is neither wanted or needed.

The contract

The contract or sales agreement must contain, in bold print this "Buyers Right To Cancel" section:

"If this agreement was solicited at your residence and you do not want the goods or services, you may cancel this agreement by mailing a notice to the seller. The notice must say that you do not want the goods or services and the notice must by mailed before midnight of the third business day after you sign this agreement. The notice must be mailed to: (sellers name and address)."

Until the seller has complied with this legal requirement, you have a continuing right to cancel the home solicitations sale by notifying the seller, in any manner and by any means, of your intention to cancel.

Cancellation steps

  • Give written notice to the seller at the address stated in the agreement. Your notice should briefly state that you do not wish to continue with the purchase. Keep a copy of your letter.
  • Mail this notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you will have proof of the date of mailing. Do this within three business days after you sign the purchase agreement.
  • Keep the merchandise in good condition until it is claimed by the seller.

The seller must...

  • Return all payments made, any goods traded to the salesperson and any note or evidence of indebtedness within 10 days.
  • Make an effort to reclaim the purchased goods within 40 days.
  • If the seller does not claim his goods within forty days after cancellation, the merchandise becomes your property without any obligation to pay for the merchandise.

Caution

  • Avoid "on the spot" purchases. The item that you buy from a door-to-door salesman may be more expensive and of poorer quality than what you can buy in a store. Shop around before purchasing.
  • Demand identification from a salesperson. Write down his name, company name, phone number and product. Burglars sometimes use door-to-door sales as an opportunity to "case" your valuables. Check out the salesperson and his company with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Read the contract. Make sure you get a copy. Don't sign the contract if it contains any blank spaces or if it contradicts any verbal agreements or promises made by the salesrep.
  • Make the check payable to the company, not the salesperson.
  • Ask where you can get the item repaired. Check on the terms of the warranty.
  • If you purchase any item, such as a vacuum cleaner, try it out immediately. You will have only three days to cancel the sales agreement.If you wait too long, you will be unable to cancel the agreement.

Remember the exceptions

Be careful. You do not have three days to cancel all types of contracts. This cooling-off rule for home solicitation sales does not cover sales:

  • made pursuant to prior negotiations at the sellers regular place of business;
  • under $25
  • for real estate, insurance, or securities; or
  • for emergency home repairs, made at the buyer's request.

The sale of printed material

When the encyclopedia salesperson knocks on your door, ask to see his registration receipt. All sellers of magazines, Bibles, periodicals or other printed material are required to register with the county court clerk in the county in which the solicitation takes place, if the sale is contingent upon a future event, such as a down payment or one or more installment payments. If the salesperson calls by telephone, he or she must tell you the number of the registration receipt.

The law that requires this registration does not apply to fundraising sales by school organizations if the superintendent of the school system has filed a written report with the county clerk that identifies what is being sold, the names of the students involved, and the duration of the sales.

If the seller does not show you his or her registration receipt or tell you the number of the receipt over the phone, all orders or contracts made can be voided.

All magazines received in Kentucky must have the expiration date of the subscriber's subscription on the address label or on the mailing wrapper in an easy to understand form.

Referral sales

If you are approached by a home solicitor who offers you a discount on your purchases if you will give him the names of other potential customers and at least one of them purchases the product, the seller has just broken Kentucky's Referral Sales law. The seller cannot give or offer a rebate at the time of a sale that hinges upon an event in the future, such as another person purchasing the product.

For more information

If you have a problem in exercising your "three-day cooling off" right to cancel a home solicitations sale, or with a sale of printed material, write:

Office of Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
1024 Capital Center Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 696-5389

Home Solicitation Sales KRS 367.410

Subscription Sales of Printed Material KRS 367.510

Referral Sales KRS 367.350