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The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide general information on a wide variety of legal issues in the Province of Alberta. This service is provided by Calgary Legal Guidance funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation.
This topic discusses door-to-door sales. Ask for the identification of all door-to-door salespersons that includes their business license number. Call the Alberta Government Services to confirm that their company is licensed in Alberta. Most companies require a license to sell their goods by law. You may cancel your purchase within 1 year if the company did not have an Alberta license to sell in the province.
Often door-to-door salespersons convince you into buying items which you do not want or cannot afford. You may wish to cancel your purchase after you have had more time to think about it. You may cancel your purchase within 10 days (as per the Fair Trading Act, 2000 section 31 (4)) after you receive a copy of the written sales contract if:
- Your purchase was more than $25;
- If the purchase was made directly from a salesperson at your home or a place away from the company’s normal place of business. These cancellation rights do not apply to purchases from a market place, an auction, a trade fair or an agricultural fair or exhibition.
- If the purchase was for personal or household use only.
You do not have to give a reason to cancel the contract.
Where the seller failed to tell you about your right to cancel within 10 days, you can cancel the purchase after the 10 days up to 1 year. In other words, the salesperson must tell you that you have 10 days to cancel the purchase after you receive a copy of the contract and that you do not need a reason. You may also cancel the purchase within 1 year if the delivery of the goods is not made on the date agreed upon or the services are not started within 30 days of the delivery date in the contract. However, if you accept the goods or allow services to begin after the 30-day time period, then you may not cancel for this reason.
The terms of the door written sales contract must contain certain information:
- The cancellation rights must be written on the front page of the written sales contract or referred to at a different page. The notice must also be in a large enough print for you to read (no less than 12 point).
- Your name and address.
- The name of the company, the companies address and telephone number.
- The name of the salesperson.
- The date and place of the contract.
- A description of the goods or services you purchased.
- The total cost and terms of payment including the particulars of a trade-in taken
by the seller. The trade-in must be fully described and a value stated.
- The date of the delivery of the goods or services where future delivery is agreed upon.
If you decide to cancel your purchase, you must give notice of your intention to cancel. You may just tell the seller or send the Notice of Cancellation by personal service, registered mail or courier. If you think that there might be a dispute over the notice of the intention to cancel, keep your receipts of delivery for proof of service. If you mail on a particular date or deliver the Notice of Cancellation, that date is considered the date of service.
Send the Notice of Cancellation to the address written on the Direct Sales Contract. If you did not receive a copy of the contract, then try to locate an address for the company and send it to that address. Call the salesperson if you cannot locate an address for the company. If you cannot find an address, deliver the notice to the Consumer Information Centre. You may contact the Consumer Information Centre at 780-427-4088 in Edmonton and toll free at 1-877-427-4088 throughout the rest of the province.
Within 15 days of service of Notice of Cancellation, the supplier must refund all money paid and return any trade-in or amount equal to the trade-in. You must return the goods immediately after receiving the refund or the company will pick up the goods within 21 days. Reasonable care must be taken of the goods until returned to the company. In the case where you had certain services performed by a company and then you cancelled the Direct Sales Contract, you must pay a reasonable amount for the service work the company has already performed for you.