What is a door-to-door sales contract?
Under BC’s consumer protection law, a “direct sales contract” (that’s the legal name for a door-to-door sales contract) is a contract that’s entered into at a place other than at the supplier’s permanent place of business (usually your home). It’s important to know it’s not a direct sales contract if you invited the salesperson to your home more than 24 hours in advance or if the contract is for less than $50.
What are my door-to-door sales contract rights?
Here’s a summary of your door-to-door sales contract rights as well as business obligations (for comprehensive information, please check out the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and the Consumer Contracts Regulation):
By law, if you’re entering into a door-to-door sales contract:
- You have 10 days to cancel your contract for ANY reason.
- You have, under certain circumstances, up to a year to cancel your contract. These include:
- If the contract doesn’t include required information, as outlined by law;
- If the goods or services aren’t delivered within 30 days of the date stated in the contract (but you lose that right if you accept delivery after those 30 days); or
- If the supplier was under a direct sales prohibition order (meaning they were not allowed to engage in direct sales activity) at the time the contract was entered into.
By law, businesses engaging in door-to-door sales contract activity:
- Have to give you a copy of your contract at the time you enter into it.
- Can’t make you pay a down payment that’s more than $100 or 10% of the total price – whichever is less.
- Have to include certain information in their direct sales contract. This includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Their name and business address;
- The date the contract is entered into;
- A detailed description of the goods and services that are to be provided; and
- The total price and terms of payment.
Tips for talking with door-to-door salespeople
While you may view unsolicited visits to your home as inconvenient, try to remember that door-to-door salespeople are just doing their job. Tip: it’s always okay to tell the seller no or to ask if you can contact him or her at a later date. In fact, even if you are interested in the product or service, it’s always a good idea to take time to think about what’s being offered and decide whether it’s right for you (and your budget!).
Here are a few easy ways to say “no” or ask for more time:
- “Thank you for your time, but I’m not interested.”
- “Not today, thanks.”
- “No thank you: I’ve already allocated my budget for the year.”
- “I’m going to need more time to think about this. Can you I call you later to discuss?”
- “I’d like to review the offer before I make a decision. Can you leave me with some information?”
Where can I go for more general information or help?
There’s a lot more to know about BC’s door-to-door sales contract laws, including more information about your rights and responsibilities:
- For general information, visit the door-to-door sales page on our website.
- For information about cancelling your contract, visit “How do I cancel my contract?” section on our door-to-door sales page.
Where do I go if I have an issue with my natural gas contract?
Contact the British Columbia Utilities Commission (as they are responsible for administering the Utilities Commission Act and regulating natural gas and electricity utilities in BC). Here’s a link to their website.
12 thoughts on “Salesperson at your door? Know your rights!”
Telus in the last year has sent of 7 door to door representatives trying to entice us into free installation for their fiber optic system. Since the first visit I have explained; “No thank you” “NOT FOR US!””PLEASE TELL YOUR MANAGEMENT TO STOP BOTHERING US!” etc. Each time they send a new young adult(s) who obviously have no ill will, but have no idea we have already said no repeatedly, countless darn times. I feel sorry for these young, almost kids. that Telus is taking advantage of and treating like crap. They don’t even warn them , that” …hey this guy already refused 6 times… and absolutely hates when we do this….” And yes i asked them to take me of what ever list they are using no luck, i today posted on the face book group as well as tweeted at them. What else can I do about this ? Can you take Telus to task about this on my behalf? cause in the big picture I’m just one guy, and they are a huge” corporate citizen ” bugging working class people during their valuable home time , pushing something they likely don’t even need and would not notice. Not the way telus needs it to compete with the other big corporation , i await your response thank you
Hello! We have already replied to your message through Facebook but we will also respond to you here as well in case this information can be helpful to others.
At the moment in BC, there is a law in place to protect consumers such as cancellation rights if they sign a contract through a door to door sale. However the law does not prohibit door to door salespeople from knocking on your door. What you can do is to write to your local MLA as their role is to represent your voice. We have a blog post that explains how to write an effective letter to your MLA here. For instance, Ontario has banned the door to door sales practices and you could suggest something similar or express any other thoughts you may have.
I hope this information is helpful!
The company does not keep records of such things. The way it works is like this, each summer they have no idea who has moved away, if the needs have changed, so each area is started fresh again. In addition to that, there may come a day when somebody just does a better job explaining it to you, offers you a better deal, etc. The best way to handle the situation is to politely tell the respresentative that you’ve been spoken to many many times, and there is just absolutely no way you’ll be purchasing their service. You’re right in the fact that they have no idea that you’ve been approached so often, and their job is already extremely difficult so politeness goes a long way!
The same thing happened to my parents. The vacuum service turned into a high pressure sale of an air purifier. I’m thinking it’s likely the same company, and I’m not impressed.
My parents don’t even fully understand what the air purifier does, just that he said they needed one. Had they known they could return it in the first 10 days they would have. Did you get any satisfaction?
Hi Andrew, thank you for your comment. Depending on how long ago this happened, we may be able to still help your parents. We’d also like to know more details as it’s important for us to see a pattern of behavior in the marketplace. Would you be able to submit an online complaint form? Here is the link. If you have any questions, please reach out to us here.
I agreed to have our Newley purchased vacuum serviced by the manufacturers rep. During the visit he talked me into purchasing another product and I now don’t want it. Does this allow me to return it under the door to door regulation. Specifically, he was invited to come and service our vacuum but as I said, he persuaded me to purchase a air purifier system.
Looking forward to your advice.
Hi Brian, thanks for reaching out to us here. If the salesperson came to your house uninvited, then whatever you agreed to would be considered a direct sales contract. However, if he was invited into your home to service the vacuum, I’m not sure if it would still qualify – we may need more information from you in order to provide you with an accurate answer. You may be interested in giving our inquiry centre a call to do that: 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
What about car salespeople coming to my house?
Hi Peter, thank you for your question! If a car salesperson came to your house because you invited him/her more than 24 hours in advance then the contract does not qualify as a direct sales contract. Have you had an experience with car salespeople coming to your house without an appointment?
Someone came to my door at 8:35 pm today to sell me something. I was quite taken aback by the lateness. What is the latest time allowable by law for someone to knock on your door to sell a product? Also if I post a no soliciting sign on my door is that enough to legally stop people from approaching?
Hi Jill, thanks for reaching out to us here. The laws we oversee do not speak to what times door-to-door salespeople are allowed to come to your door. Our laws mostly speak to cancellation rights and what information must be in the contract. You may wish to request that the salesperson does not visit you that late. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help. We typically don’t hear about this issue from consumers, but we appreciate you sharing your situation.
Most companies will typically get their reps to work until 9:30-10:00pm or until dark, reason being; most people are home between the hours of 5:00-10:00pm making this the optimum time to reach potential clients. Leaving a note or a sign on the door reading something like “Shhh please do not knock or ring the bell past (insert preferred time here)” and most sales people will be polite and choose to come back at an earlier time another day.