Is there can anything I can do about a home solicitation purchase?
- What is a home solicitation contract?
A home solicitation contract is an agreement for the sale or lease of goods or services that is made in a location other than the seller’s place of business. Home solicitation laws cover a wide range of goods and services. The types of products that this law may apply to include water filtration systems, gutter cleaning systems, solar panels, and home computers. It may also apply to services, like the installation of solar panels. There are some exceptions to this, however, including services provided by lawyers, real estate brokers, securities dealers, and physicians.
- Is there any law that might apply to the salesperson coming to my home to sell me something?
Yes. Almost every consumer transaction amounting to more than $25 that occurs in your home may be covered by California's Home Solicitation Sales Act.
- Does the Home Solicitation Sales Act only cover transactions that take place at my home?
No. The Home Solicitation Sales Act covers transactions that take place anywhere other than the seller’s “appropriate trade premises.” This could mean a flea market, a convention center, or a trade show.
- How does the Home Solicitation Sales Act protect consumers?
The Home Solicitation Sales Act requires that the seller provide very specific disclosures to the buyer regarding the right to cancel. The contract must include a three day right to cancel for most contracts, or a seven day right to cancel in the case of an emergency response unit. The statute gives specific language the contract must use. If the contract does not include the specific language, the buyer may rescind the contract. The buyer may rescind the contract at any time until the statutory language is provided to the buyer.
- What if I contacted the company to come to my home?
Even if you contacted the seller and asked them to come to your house, the seller still needs to give you the appropriate notice of cancellation. It does not matter that you reached out first.
- What can I do if an unwanted salesperson shows up at my door?
You have no obligation to talk to any door-to-door salesperson, let alone let them into your home. In fact, it is a best practice to not let the person in, even if you are interested in the product. You can later find the product online, and you will have had a cooling off period first to decide whether you really want the product.
- Should I agree to let the salesperson find financing for the sale?
Not usually. The company likely makes a large amount of its money through the financing, not from the product it is selling. You are likely to be trapped in a high interest rate, long term loan if you allow the salesperson to arrange financing.
- What if the salesperson won't give me all the documents I sign?
You are entitled to receive a copy of all documents you sign. Make sure that you receive copies of every single document you sign, along with all brochures and manuals. You may have signed multiple contracts or documents. Make sure you have a copy of everything. If you sign anything on a tablet or e-sign on a computer, make sure you receive a copy immediately.
- What if the company won't let me cancel the sale?
If you cancel the contract, the seller must return anything you paid within 10 days of cancellation. If you have made the products available for return and the seller does not pick them up within 20 days, you may keep the product. You should retain all documents you receive from the company and make notations of all telephone calls.
- What if it is more than three days since I signed the contract, and I no longer want the goods or services?
You may still have the right to cancel the contract if the company did not give you proper notice of your three-day right to cancel. You should contact an attorney if you have any questions. Gather all documents and communications you have had with the company so that you are prepared to discuss the circumstances.
- What if the salesperson conducted negotiations for the sale of the goods in my language, but the contract and other documents are in English?
You may have the right to cancel the contract. The California Translation Act requires that you receive all contractual paperwork in the same language that you negotiated in.
- What if the product isn't working or the company isn't providing the services they told me they would?
If the product isn't working, you may have other claims against the company, including for breach of warranty or consumer fraud. You should retain all documents and make a note of all conversations you have had with the company and contact an attorney.
- Can an attorney help me get my money back?
If you are paying for something that isn't working, and you believe you have been wronged, you may be able to get your money back. You may wish to call our firm and receive a free consultation. If we are able to take your case, you will never be charged for our attorneys' fees and costs. We receive compensation from defendants pursuant to fee shifting statutes.
These questions and responses DO NOT constitute legal advice. They are intended to provide general information to improve your consumer literacy and give a broad understanding about how the marketplace works in the areas discussed. Consumer protection laws differ in different states. Even in California laws frequently change through legislative amendments, developing case law, and sometimes the effect of overriding federal regulations. Your legal rights and remedies will depend on your particular circumstances, documents and evidence. If you have further questions, just give us a call.