What you need to know when door-to-door sales representatives start knocking
VICTORIA, Texas–If you live in a home, chances are you have talked to a door-to-door sales representative eager to sell you cleaning supplies, cosmetics or magazine subscriptions. In some cases, these sales representatives will use high-pressure or deceptive sales tactics to get potential customers to buy their products. This summer, Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas advises you to be on guard the next time a sales representative knocks on your door.
According to the Texas Attorney General, under Texas law, a door-to-door seller must advise you verbally and in writing that you have a right to cancel the sale within three days. The sales representative must also give you a contract or receipt stating the date of the sale, the name and address of the merchant and a statement of your right to cancel the contract, which includes the address where you send your cancellation notice.
Unfortunately, scammers have also been known to pose as door-to-door sales representatives. These scammers are after your personal and financial information, or they may be casing your home for a potential burglary. Summer is an active time for this type of activity because many residents are home during the day to answer the door.
If a sales representative comes to your door, your BBB advises the following:
Know who you are buying from. Before you open your door or let anyone into your home, ask to see a photo ID, business card and some proof of the business they’re representing. Also, ask for a physical address and for local references. Do your research. Look up the business online and get references from your friends, family, neighbors or from the company’s current clients. For a business you can trust, go to bbb.org. Resist pressure to “buy now.” Don’t be pressured to take advantage of a time-sensitive offer, like “once in a lifetime” or “today only.” Instead, do some comparison shopping and take time to decide whether you want the product being sold. Get written estimates. A reputable business won’t try to sell you anything before completing a professional assessment of your needs and layout of your home. Ask plenty of questions. Remember, don’t let anyone who hasn’t made an appointment into your home. If an estimation or installation needs to be done, call the business directly to make an appointment. Know your rights. The Texas Business & Commerce Code states that you have three days to cancel a contract for goods or services sold to you, regardless of whether you have received the goods or services. This “cooling-off rule” only applies to transactions made at someone’s home or at a seller’s temporary location. Keep your receipt or contract and a copy of your cancellation notice. Remember, you are not obligated to return goods to the seller until you have recovered either your money or your agreement to pay money.