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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > April 2023 > Door-to-door sales: Know your rights

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Door-to-door sales: Know your rights

Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act protects consumers from high-pressure door-to-door sales by giving them a three-day “cooling off” period during which the contract can be canceled. After signing the agreement, a consumer has until midnight of the third business day to cancel.
What is a home solicitation sale?
A home solicitation sale is a sale of $25 or more in which a solicitation and a purchase agreement are made in person at the consumer’s home. The term also applies to sales made outside a seller’s normal place of business, such as a fair booth or hotel meeting room. Additionally, it applies when a buyer schedules an in-person solicitation and an agreement is made at the consumer’s home.
What does Ohio law require of door-to-door sales?
Under the Home Solicitation Sales Act, a seller must:
  • Give the consumer a copy of the signed written agreement, including the date of the transaction, the seller’s name, the seller’s address, and essentially the same language used in the verbal sales presentation.
  • Provide a “notice of cancellation” form explaining the consumer’s right to cancel the sale. 
  • Accept a consumer’s decision to cancel, for any reason, within three business days of the sale.
  • Delay any service or sell any loan agreement signed by the consumer until the cooling-off period passes.
What happens if a consumer cancels a door-to-door sale?
If a consumer cancels a home solicitation sale, the seller must provide a refund to the consumer within 10 days of receiving the consumer’s cancellation notice. If any goods were left at the consumer’s home, the consumer must make those goods available to the seller, who must arrange to pick them up.
Some cities and municipalities may require door-to-door solicitors to be registered. If your city requires registration and the seller is not registered, that may be a red flag.
Door-to-door sales overview:
  • In a door-to-door sale of $25 or more, sellers must give consumers three days to cancel.
  • The seller must provide a written agreement and a written cancellation notice.
  • The seller may not begin services until the three-day cancellation period ends.
  • If the consumer cancels, the seller must provide a refund within 10 days.                                                   
In addition to knowing your rights when it comes to door-to-door sales, consider the following when purchasing goods and services from your home. Take your time. You may feel rushed because there is a person standing in your doorway.
  • Don’t fall for pressure tactics: Door-to-door home-improvement scams try to trick you into acting immediately before you have time to shop around. Legitimate companies allow you time to think about the offer and research your options. It should raise a red flag if a door-to-door salesperson pressures you to make an immediate decision or pay cash in advance.
  • Ask for identification, and research the business: Carefully research any business before allowing it to work on or in your home. Ask for license or permit information and whether the person is bonded.
  • Take your time: If you would like to pursue an in-home project, ask for references from friends and neighbors who have undertaken similar projects, and then research those businesses. Consider asking several companies to provide you with bids.
  • Document and read offers and estimates: Carefully read any contract before you sign it. Beware of fine print that requires you to pay more than a quoted price or that obligates you to pay for unwanted services that you did not discuss with the contractor. Ask the representative to leave the contract with you for review before you sign it.
Consumers who suspect a scam or who have problems they can’t resolve on their own should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.