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How to Get Out of a Signed Contract: Door-to-Door Sales

Maybe you have an alarm security system already. Maybe you’re looking to add one. Have you been thinking about video cameras? Door-to-door security salesman abound in the South, especially in the summer months. Sometimes their slick talk and special summer deals are quite convincing.

Allow us to paint a picture: the chipper sales rep rings your doorbell. Quite concerned about your home’s security (or lack thereof), you’re made aware of every risk to your home and crime statistic for your neighborhood. Your security woes and weak points begin to vanish with the promise of free equipment, speedy installation and big name representation. As your cool air slips out into the summer heat, you start to think this is a good deal. You sign the contract and the bright-eyed sales rep heads on to the next house. Later, you consider the decision and read over the contract, suddenly filled with regret. You’ve signed with a company that can’t provide local support and that requires (long) contract terms with regular monthly price increases. You try to call the company, only to be bounced around from department to department. That sales rep, who won’t remember your name after the signing bonus and flight home at the end of the summer, isn’t someone you can contact directly. You panic – how do I get out of this?!

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No need to worry, you have THREE days – for ANY reason. Yep, three days from the signed contract date. There’s actually even a law protecting your right to cancel. It’s called the Cooling-Off Rule (also called the Door-to-Door Sales Act). And we think it’s pretty important for you to know your rights.

Under the Cooling-Off Rule, the following is required from your door-to-door sales rep:

  • The sales rep must provide you with two copies of the form of ‘notice of cancellation’ (this is a specific form that must accompany the contract)
  • The notice must be separate from the contract
  • A specific form of notice must appear next to the contract’s signature block and you must sign the notice form
  • The sales rep must provide a copy of the contract in the same language as the sale (if you spoke Spanish with him / her, the contract would need to be in Spanish!)
  • Once cancelled, the selling company must return the money within 10 days and you must make the goods available at your premise

 

The rights above outlined apply to electronic contracts as well as to ink and paper contracts, and they apply to all door to door sales (not just security alarm systems). Keep in mind, you can cancel simply by mailing the notice (or a letter of cancellation) to the selling company, postmarked no later than midnight on the third day following the sale.