Doorstep Selling

Introduction

If you sell products and services worth over £35 to a customer on their doorstep, you must let them know in writing they have the right to cancel within 7 days. You must include certain information in the ‘Notice of the Right to Cancel’.

This applies whether you visit a customer with or without an appointment or agree the sales contract verbally or in writing.

It includes the sale of products and services to customers at:

  • their home
  • their workplace
  • another individual’s home
  • on an excursion you’ve organised away from your business premises

You must provide specific information about cancellation in a document called ‘Notice of the Right to Cancel’.

 

 

Notice of the Right to Cancel

 You must give this document to the customer when the contract is made. It must:

  • be either a separate document or in a prominent separate box on the contract with the heading ‘Notice of the Right to Cancel’
  • state that the customer has at least 7 calendar days to cancel the contract
  • have a detachable cancellation form with your contact details that the customer can fill in and return to you

The 7 days is usually from the date the contract was made. It starts when the customer makes an offer if the offer’s made:

  • during a visit by the trader to the consumer’s home or place of work or someone else’s home
  • during an excursion organised by the trader away from his business premises

The document must contain:

  • identity of the trader including trading name (if applicable)
  • trader’s reference number, code or other details to enable the contract or offer to be identified
  • statement that the consumer has a right to cancel the contract if they wish and that this right can be exercised by delivering, or sending (including by email) a cancellation notice to the person mentioned in the next paragraph at any      time within the period of 7 days starting with the day of receipt of a notice in writing of the right to cancel the contract
  • name and address, (email as well as postal address) of someone the customer can give a cancellation notice
  • statement that notice is considered to be given as soon as it’s sent
  • statement that the consumer can use the cancellation form provided if they wish

For contracts where work or services start within the 7 days, you must get written authorisation to start. The notice must also state that the customer must pay a reasonable amount for goods or services covered by the contract before any cancellation.

You can’t enforce a contract if you don’t provide a customer with a Notice Of the Right to Cancel.

 

 

Who the rules apply to

 You’ll need to provide a Notice of the Right to Cancel if you sell goods and and services such as:

  • home improvement, repair and maintenance services
  • gardening services
  • personal items such as cosmetics, clothes, jewellery and toiletries
  • household items
  • books and leisure items
  • nutrition and health products
  • energy supplies (eg gas and electricity)
  • disability aids and mobility products such as stair lifts, scooters and buggies

 

 

Exceptions

 These regulations won’t apply to you if you make a solicited visit to a customer for regulated finance plans such as mortgages and consumer credit agreements.

Other exceptions include visits made to a customer with or without an appointment for:

  • agreements that are cancellable under the Consumer Credit Act 1974
  • contracts for the construction, sale or rental of property (but they do apply to extensions, patios, conservatories or driveways and to repairs, refurbishment and improvement of property)
  • insurance contracts
  • contracts for food and drink supplied by regular roundsmen
  • contracts under £35
  • contracts relating to shares and investments
  • catalogue orders where there is a notice showing the right to return goods or cancel the contract

 

 

Penalties

 Failure to provide a valid notice is a criminal offence. If convicted the trader and/or their business could be fined up to £5,000.

Source: www.gov.uk