May 2006                              By Attorney General Tom Miller



The “Right-to-Cancel” Law – Know Your Rights!


            The right-to-cancel law, known as the Door-to-Door Sales Act, can be a consumer's best friend.  Under the law, a consumer may cancel a sale made at his or her home – or at some other location away from the seller's  place of business –  within three business days and get a refund.  But, note: for many sales, there is no right to cancel!


            The law DOES apply to all door-to-door sales of merchandise or services, such as meat and food products, vacuum cleaners, and home repairs.  It also applies to sales made at tent sales, restaurants and hotel seminars (such as investment or job programs.)  The law DOES NOT apply to purchases at a seller's normal place of business (such as a retail store or car dealership), to sales made by telephone or by mail, or to purchases under $25.


            Under the law, the seller must TELL you of your right to cancel at the time of sale and give you two copies of a written notice of your right to cancel. The contract is void if the seller fails to do this.  If you cancel your purchase and request a refund, the seller must refund your money within ten business days and cancel any further financial obligations.


            Don’t buy from door-to-door sellers who don’t give you your rights to cancel.  In fact, contact local law enforcement or the Attorney General’s Office about the company.


            Follow these tips if you purchase items or services from door-to-door sellers:


·        Get all promises in writing and get a written notice of your right to cancel.


·        To cancel a sale, sign and date one copy of the cancellation form and mail it to the address given for cancellation. Make sure the envelope is postmarked by midnight of the third business day following the purchase. (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are not counted as "business days.”)  Or, hand-deliver the notice.


·        Send the letter by certified mail for proof that you mailed your request for a refund within the required time. Get a receipt if you hand-deliver your notice.


·        If you used a credit card for your purchase, you can contact your credit card company and challenge the charge within 60 days after the date the first bill was mailed to you.


·        Contact local law enforcement officials if you are victimized by a door-to-door scam or you do not receive a refund you requested.


            For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, Hoover Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.  Call 515-281-5926 or toll-free to 1-888-777-4590.  The web address is .

Consumer Protection Division   Hoover Building   Des Moines, Iowa 50319   515/281-5926*