Be Cautious of Door-To-Door Salesmen

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CHEYENNE, WY - The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office has continued to receive complaints about door-to-door sales. Recent complaints concerned overly aggressive salespeople, misrepresentations by salespeople about the products sold, and failure of vendors to deliver merchandise the consumers purchased through the salespeople. Products generating these complaints include home security systems, vacuum cleaners, meat products and magazine subscriptions.

It may be convenient to make a purchase without leaving home. However, this convenience may be offset for some consumers by their experience of feeling pressured into buying something that they would not normally buy or would have researched more deeply if not under the pressure of a salesperson at their home. Some consumers have concluded that they have simply been scammed by a door-to-door salesperson. The Attorney General’s Office reminds consumers of some helpful tips for when a door-to-door salesperson comes knocking:

• Never feel obligated to open your door to a stranger.
• Watch for tactics used to get into your home, such as asking for a glass of water.
• If you do let someone into your home and he or she does not leave when asked to, call the police or other local law enforcement.
• If you make a purchase, you may want to pay with a credit card instead of with cash or check. If you pay by cash or check and you later dispute the transaction, you may not be able to recover your money. Credit cards, however, often provide additional consumer protection, such as the ability to dispute the charge with your credit card company if merchandise is not received.
• Before you sign anything, read and understand all contracts and any paperwork the door-to-door
salesperson gives you; do not rely on what he or she says to you about what is contained in the contract.
• You have three business days to cancel most sales made in your home - this is known as the “cooling off period”. If you want to cancel the purchase within the “cooling off period”, you must send something in writing telling the business that you want to cancel. Send the notice by certified mail so you can prove that you mailed it within the three days, and to verify that the business received your cancellation.
• If you traded in any goods for the purchase, or gave any money to the salesperson, the merchant must return any goods traded in and make a full refund within ten business days after cancellation.
• If you would like to discourage salespeople from coming to your door, you should post a "no soliciting" sign on your property.
• If you are not sure about the company or the salesperson, ask the salesperson to leave. Then, take the time to research the company and product.

Do not be rushed into making a decision by high pressure sales tactics, and remember that merchants who engage in unfair or deceptive business practices are in violation of the Wyoming Consumer Protection Act. If you believe a salesperson has been overly aggressive, has tried to mislead you, or has violated the “cooling off period", please contact the Consumer Protection Unit of the Wyoming Attorney General's Office at (800) 438-5799 or (307) 777-5833.