Your rights when purchasing on your doorstep
Doorstep selling is when you buy something from someone face-to-face but away from trade premises – for example, at home or from a salesperson at your place of work etc.
If you buy something from a doorstep sale, as well as the usual rights you have when you buy from a shop, you also have the right to a seven-day 'cooling off' period. To have this right, the goods you buy must cost over £35. It does not matter whether or not you invited the sales person to call at your home or workplace.
The 'cooling off' period gives you seven days in which you can change your mind and cancel your order, without having to pay anything. The sales person must tell you that you have this right, in writing, when you place your order. If they don't, you can cancel your order at any time and get your money back – even if this is after seven days.
If you asked in writing for goods to be supplied before the end of the cooling off period, you may have to pay a reasonable price for those goods, even if you cancel the contract within the cooling off period. This applies to goods that can't reasonably be returned to the trader, for example, because you have used them all up or because they were especially made for you.
If a trader comes to your home and ignores your request to leave or not to come back, they may be committing a criminal offence. It is also against the law if they continue to contact you remotely, for example, by phone or email.
Even if you don't have the right to cancel your order, or want to cancel after seven days, the trader may still agree to cancel it. However, they would be entitled to charge a cancellation fee, or to keep your deposit.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
- if the goods you buy cost more than £35 you have the right to change your mind within 7 days
if you change your mind within 7 days you are entitled to return the goods and receive a full refund
traders must not harass you
If you sign up for credit to buy goods in your own home, you are entitled to pull out of the credit agreement within 14 days. You must tell the lender that you are pulling out of the agreement. This is called giving notice. It is best to put the notice in writing and send it by recorded delivery if you can. Remember to keep a copy for your own records. You can also give notice verbally. You might need to do this if the 14 days is almost up. If you give the notice verbally, make sure you keep a record of the date and time and who you spoke to and follow it up in writing.