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.