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June 14, 2012
For immediate release
Consumers advised of rights and responsibilities when dealing with direct sellers
Environment, Labour and Justice
With the summer season here, consumers can expect to see an increase in direct sellers visiting and calling their homes, and they should be aware of their rights and responsibilities.
“We would like to remind consumers that they should be cautious when buying goods or services from their homes or over the telephone,” said Steven Dowling, General Counsel for the Consumer, Labour and Financial Services Division of the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice.
The Direct Sellers Act requires, with some exceptions, that all vendors and salespersons be licensed under the Act. When making a purchase, consumers should check the salesperson’s licence to ensure it is valid.
“You should also check contracts carefully,” said Mr Dowling. “Look for any hidden fees or monthly charges, and if there is anything you don’t understand you should ask the salesperson before you sign. Also do not allow a direct seller to install equipment in your home until you have fully reviewed and signed the contract.”
“Most importantly, you should be aware that for purchases over $100, you are entitled to a cooling off period. That means you have 10 days to cancel your contract if you change your mind.”
Islanders can find more helpful consumer information on the Consumer Services website: www.gov.pe.ca/consumerservices. Anyone who has concerns about direct sellers or wishes to register a complaint, should contact the Consumer Services Section of the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice at 1-800-658-1799 or 902-368-4580.
Direct Sellers – Backgrounder
What is a direct seller?
A direct seller is a person who goes to your house or telephones you for the purpose of selling or offering goods or services for sale. The Direct Sellers Act requires, with some exceptions, that all vendors and salespersons be licensed under the Act.
Guidelines to follow when buying goods or services from your home:
• Check the salesperson’s licence to ensure (a) it is still valid, and (b) it has been signed by the Registrar of Direct Sellers and the salesperson.
• Beware of free gifts, prizes, money for supplying a list of names and special price discounts.
• Read the contract you sign and be sure you understand it.
• Don’t commit yourself to payments larger than you can afford.
• Never sign on impulse. Always get a copy of the contract. Be sure it includes the company and salesperson’s name and address.
• Have the salesperson sign the contract before you do. You should be the last one to sign after you have read all the details.
• Make sure the correct date is on the contract.
• Make sure the correct delivery date is on the contract.
A direct sales contract of $100 or more can be cancelled if:
• The purchaser serves notice of cancellation on the vendor or salesperson within 10 days after the day on which the purchaser entered into the contract.
• The vendor or salesperson was not licensed under the Act at the time the purchase was made.
• The goods or services are not supplied to the purchaser within 30 days after making the purchase.
When a contract is cancelled, the salesperson has 15 days from receiving the notice of cancellation:
• To refund any money received under the contract.
• To return goods taken by the vendor as a trade-in or the monetary value of those goods.
• You do not have to return the goods purchased until the seller returns your deposit or payment.
Tips to Remember:
• Keep your deposit small.
• Refuse to pay for goods or services in advance.
• Ask and compare:
- cash price
- credit price
- cost of borrowing
If you run into a problem or need information:
Write ~ Consumer Services Section, Department of Environment, Labour and Justice, PO Box 2000, Charlottetown PE C1A 7N8
Visit ~ Consumer Services Section of the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice, 4th floor, Shaw Building, South Door 95 Rochford Street, Charlottetown PEI
Call ~ Toll free: 1-800-658-1799 or (902) 368-4580