This article was written from information provided by the Texas Attorney General. It discusses one of the most frequent consumer complaints. These complaints come from door-to-door sale scams. When someone solicits you at home they may be legitimate - or they may be working a scam. You should know your rights. We hope these guidelines will help you avoid being cheated.

Products frequently misrepresented in door-to-door sales include home improvements, funeral service contracts, books and magazines. The law calls door-to-door sales a “Home Solicitation Transaction. This takes place whenever you make a purchase somewhere other than the merchant's place of business for a sum greater than $25. There are restrictions to this law regarding:

Sales of insurance and farm equipment

Real estate under $100

A sale where an attorney or broker assists in the transaction

A solicitation must be made in person and over the phone does not apply

If you negotiate the sale at the merchant's establishment the resulting sale is not covered.

Watch Out For Tricks

Be suspicious of anyone who tries to make a sale by playing on your emotions

Be suspicious of claims of the lowest price and they claim their competitors do poor work

Be suspicious of those who claim to have done local work, but refuse to give you names of past customers

If you buy from a reputable local business, you can always take the product back or at least speak with the representative. If you buy from a fly-by-night seller, chances are you will never see them again.

Under Texas Law the door-to-door seller must do the following:

Provide you with a copy of the contract or receipt at the time of the sale in the appropriate language

Name and address of the merchant, date of sale and a statement of your right to cancel. You have three days to cancel and the seller has ten days to return your money and return any trade-in item

Provide you with a notice of cancellation with the address where you can send a written cancellation notice

Return your property to its original condition if the seller made “improvements to it, and you want it restored.

If you wish to cancel and the seller did not provide a cancellation form, then you must send a written cancellation of your own. Send it certified mail so you have proof of the receipt. Since the seller did not comply with the law, you have extra time. However, the sooner the better in these situations.

The following are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:

Don't be pushed into signing anything or giving away your money. Beware the “once in a lifetime offer

Keep a copy of any and all paperwork. You will need this if you end up needing legal help. If you mail a cancellation, send it by certified mail

Contact the Better Business Bureau before buying anything door-to-door

If you have other questions and think you have been ripped off, contact the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office.

Our nearest Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office is in Dallas at 214-742-8944. The hotline number is 1-800-337-3928. Complaint forms are available by writing to: Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division/010, P.O. Box 12548, Austin, Tx 78711-2548.