Consumer Protection from Door to Door Salespeople in Kentucky

Even in the age of Amazon Prime, free two-day shipping, and infomercials, door to door sales can present the average American with problems. In light of the foregoing, the Federal Trade Commission and the Kentucky General Assembly have provided consumers special protection against home solicitation sales.

A consumer has three (3) business days after signing a purchase contract to cancel if the sale is made at the consumer’s home and is over $25. Both the solicitation and signing of the sales contract must occur at the consumer’s home. The three-day cooling off period does not cover sales following prior negotiations at the seller’s place of business; sales made completely by mail or phone, sales for real estate, insurance or securities; or sales made at consumer’s request due to emergency (i.e., emergency home repairs).

A door-to- door salesperson must present and obtain a signature on a written sales agreement which contains the buyer’s right to cancel in bold print. The right to cancel a home solicitation sale is perpetual until the agreement is provided to the consumer.

The consumer is not required to give a reason for the termination of sale. The consumer must only give written notice to the seller of his wishes to cancel the purchase and mail the notice by certified mail. It is a good idea to maintain proof of mailing and a copy of the cancellation letter. Do not use the merchandise and safely store it until the seller returns to reclaim it.

Within ten (10) days after cancellation, the seller must refund all payments made, return any traded merchandise, and produce any note or evidence of indebtedness to the consumer. Until the seller has complied with the foregoing, the consumer may retain possession of the merchandise and has a lien on the merchandise for any recovery to which he is entitled. If the seller claims the merchandise delivered under the sale, the consumer must deliver the merchandise to the seller, but he is not obligated to deliver the merchandise to any place other than the purchaser’s home. If the seller does not claim his merchandise within forty (40) calendar days after proper cancellation, the merchandise becomes the property of the consumer without obligation to pay.

Within the city limits of Paducah, Kentucky, it is unlawful for a door to door salesperson to enter upon private residence between the hours of 7:00 PM and 9:00 AM. The penalty for this can be a misdemeanor conviction subject to a $500 fine or imprisonment for thirty (30) days, or both.

Be cautious when approached by a door-to-door salesperson. Demand identification, write down name of salesperson and company, read contracts carefully, and don’t sign a contract with blank spaces or a contract which contradicts verbal agreements or promises. Keep all literature or documents presented to you. Make checks payable to the company, not to the salesperson, and ask about repairs and warranties. Salespersons are required to register with the County Court Clerk in the county in which the solicitation is to take place. In most cities they are also required to have a city business license. Ask all sellers of magazines, bibles, and periodicals for their registration receipts. Don’t hesitate to use your mobile device to document the interaction with your salesperson.

At the first sign of trouble, call your city or county business license department. The Paducah, McCracken County business department can be contacted at (270) 444-8513.

If you have a continuing problem with a door-to-door solicitation, write the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, 1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 200, Frankfort, KY 40601 or call their toll-free hotline 1-888-432-9257.