Door-to-door sales and the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule

Have you ever been invited to an in-home sales party and felt pressured to buy something? Well, if you regret your purchase, the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule may be able to help. But time is of the essence.

The Rule gives you a 3-day right to cancel a sale made at someone’s home or workplace, or at a seller’s temporary location — like a hotel room, convention center, fairground or restaurant.

By law, the seller must tell you about your right to cancel at the time of sale, give you two copies of a cancellation form, and a copy of your contract or receipt. Your right to cancel for a full refund extends until midnight of the third business day after the sale. You don’t have to give a reason for canceling your purchase. You have the right to change your mind.

But there are exceptions, including sales that are:

  • under $25 for sales made at your home;
  • under $130 for sales made at temporary locations;
  • real estate, insurance, or securities;
  • vehicles sold at temporary locations, if the seller has at least one permanent place of business; and
  • arts or crafts sold at fairs or places like shopping malls, civic centers, and schools.

If you cancel your purchase, the seller has 10 days to cancel and return any check you signed or refund all your money and tell you whether any product you still have will be picked up. Within 20 days, the seller must either pick up the items left with you, or reimburse you for mailing expenses.

To learn more, see Buyer’s Remorse: When the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule May Help.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


this could had been nice if it was a dealership, Buena Park Nissan pulled a fast one on me, I had to report them to DMV Investigations, I just wish I could do more than that and warn people about the way they do their car selling practices, I work at a dealership, and I caught the finance officer doing a yo yo deal, they would not let me talk to the owner or district manager, they avoided my calls, they ran my credit 2 times without my permission,they over charged me on options that i did not want, along with Gap insurance I did not request, they forced me to have it. I have all records of this incident, I am not happy that they are not being investigated, if they did this to me and my daughter just think who else they have done it to.

This article seems to apply to products, not services. Can you do an article on remorse for door-to-door sales of telephone service, electricity service, cable television service, home security systems, and similar?

Please read the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule article for more information.

You also may wish to contact your state Attorney General or local consumer protection agency. Some state laws give you more rights than the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule, and some local consumer offices can help you resolve your complaint

Hi Jeff do not know if you will get this as it was posted quite some time ago but I am quite familiar with the FTC Rule and it applies to Security Systems, cable Etc.. if they came to your Home and sold you anything even if you invited them. you have the right to think it over for three business days. (M-Sat)

It would have been nice for online/telephone purchases. I received a phone call which led me to go online. The caller did not correctly identify herself. I assumed I was doing business with my company. But no, I had been fooled. I could not get the fee of $400 returned to my debit acct, the man laughed and told me they do not give refunds. Still seeking help with this matter with Student Loan Services (a private company who misrepresents itself in order to provide you with what they call services for student loans). It can all be done FREE of Charge! THEY WILL NOT GIVE REFUNDS!

Please report this to the FTC at You can also report to your state and local consumer protection agencies.

If you didn't authorize the company to withdraw money from your account, contact your bank. Tell the bank that the caller misrepresented the company name.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also takes complaints, including complaints about student loan companies.

I'm so pleased that we have the FTC otherwise people will just be taken advantage of all the time!
Thank you FTC for the work you do on consumers behalf!

Had a salesman come to my house and would not leave till I said yes after I told him I couldn't like ten times. I thought I would let him in just to tell me about the product as I had told him outside it's gonna be a no I can't afford it. I did not realize the phone number on his business card. I tried to get ahold of him on facebook but of course no reply.

Help. Tried to cancel a purchase under contract but did not send certified. When ignored I mailed the product and letter certified but by then it was after the cool off period. The company actually went to the police. I don't want the product nor the bill. What can I do ?

Under the FTC's Cooling Off Rule, you have to sign and date one copy of the cancellation form and mail it to the address given for cancellations. You have to make sure the envelope is post-marked before midnight of the third business day after the contract date.  The Rule does not require you to use certified mail, although that is a good idea, so you can get a return receipt.

If you followed the Cooling Off Rule, and the merchant is not cooperating, you can contact your state Attorney General’s office or state and local consumer protection agencies.

You can also report the business to the FTC, by going to


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