BBB offers advice about door-to-door sales this summer

If you live in a home, chances are you have talked to a sales representative eager to sell you cleaning supplies, cosmetics or magazine subscriptions. This summer,Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin advises you to be on guard the next time a sales representative knocks on your door.

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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.

BBB offers these tips for consumers to consider if or when a sales representative comes to your door:

  • Know who you are buying from. If you purchase from or contract with a local business, you can probably return the product or dispute the work done. On the other hand, if you buy from a “fly-by-night” sales representative, you take the risk of never seeing that person again.
  • Do your research and ask questions.  Always ask for a physical address and for references, and take time to check the information out. According to the Texas Attorney General, businesses in Texas are required to register with the Secretary of State. You can check with the Secretary of State or your BBB.
  • 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. For a business you can trust, check out BBB’s Accredited Business directory at checkbbb.org.
  • 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. 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.

For more information about your local BBB, to file a complaint or to find or report a scam, visit bbb.org/central-texas.

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