With the economy still in rough shape, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson says the sales tactics of door-to-door salespeople seem to be more aggressive.
“There seems to be a little more desperation to make the sale, if you will,” Branson said.
His office released a consumer alert to try to educate residents on their rights in door-to-door sales transactions. Complaints to his office about door-to-door solicitations generally arise during the summer.
Some of the offers are legitimate deals, Branson said, but others produce complaints of price gouging, phony claims, failure to deliver products and more.
“You have to keep in mind these sales need to be controlled by you, not the salesman,” Branson said.
Lisa Patterson, a city spokeswoman, said the city has issued 100 solicitors’ licenses in 2009 to employees of companies who make door-to-door sales calls. Each license costs $25. Branson said if a salesperson can’t produce the license, that’s an easy excuse for the property owner to say no to them.
The district attorney’s office also suggests these tips for consumers:
• Know who you’re dealing with and try to get as much information about the seller and the company as possible.
• If you make a purchase, a consumer has a right to cancel the sales agreement within three business days. Under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, the salesperson should provide the consumer with an address where the consumer can send written notice to cancel the sale, postmarked within three business days.
• Do not provide credit card or other personal information.
• Beware of the unbelievable price that is “only good for the day.”
• Watch out for a salesperson who uses pressure, will not take no for an answer or shows up at odd hours.
Other questions can be directed to Branson’s office at 785-330-2849 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.