Door-to-door sales are knocking - and pushing

Oregon attorney general offers warning, tips

SALEM, Ore. -  It's inevitable - when the temperature starts to rise, so do the number of solicitors on your doorstep.

The Oregon Department of Justice has recently received several reports of salespeople who are ignoring clearly posted "no soliciting" signs and using high-pressure tactics to make sales.

"Although most of the activity conducted by door-to-door salespeople is legal, there are some solicitors who do not follow the law, and even more who use aggressive tactics," said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. She urges Oregonians to keep the following helpful tips in mind:

  • Consider not answering the door in the first instance. The chances are the person would cause you no physical harm, but the risk of financial harm may lead you to conclude that you prefer not to engage at all. That is entirely your choice, but once you open the door, it is harder to say "no."
  • Unless you already know the solicitor, do not let the person into your home. 
  • Take your time, never buy on the spot. 
  • Watch out for door-to-door scams. The "asphalt paving scam" is particularly common this time of year. It usually involves a traveling contractor who catches you off guard by claiming they have "left over" asphalt from another job. They offer a great, on the spot, cash-only deal, but the result is either an improper and/or incomplete job with an inferior product. By the time you notice something is wrong, the "company" is long gone and looking for their next victim. For more information on door-to-door scams visit http://tinyurl.com/casjw46

If you do buy a product or service from a door-to-door salesperson, know your rights.

  • Door-to-door salespeople must: (a) explain your cancellation rights at the time of sale, (b) provide you with two copies of a cancellation form, and (c) give you a copy of the contract or receipt.
  • The contract or receipt must: (a) include the date of the transaction, (b) display the seller's name and contact information, (c) explain the consumer's right to cancel, and (d) be in the same language that was used in the sales presentation.
  • You have three days to cancel purchases of $25 or more. Although subject to some exceptions, this right to cancel for a full refund extends until midnight of the third business day after the sale. To learn more about the exceptions visit http://tinyurl.com/ck99ewf.
  • The salesperson must refund your money within 10 days after you submit a written notice of cancellation.

For more information on door-to-door sales, visit the Oregon Department of Justice online at http://tinyurl.com/cst93ux.

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