Magazines that never arrive, cosmetics and photography of poor quality, and meat that has gone bad are among an increasing number of complaints received by Better Business Bureau from consumers who said “yes” to door-to-door solicitors. In fact, complaints this year are on track to be twice as many as the 1,300 received in 2011.

If you’re visited by a door-to-door sales representative, BBB recommends that you do the following:

Be safe. Ask for identification before you open the door and never invite the solicitor into your home. If you do allow a salesperson inside and decide during the presentation that you are not interested, simply ask him or her to leave. If the salesperson refuses to leave, threaten to call the police and follow through if they don’t leave immediately.

Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics. A trustworthy company will let you take time to think about the purchase and compare prices before buying or putting down a deposit. End the conversation if you’re being pressured to commit to a purchase on the spot.

Research the company with BBB. Visit to view the company’s BBB Business Review to find out more about its marketplace performance. If you have a smartphone, download and use the BBB app to access the company’s report while the person is standing at your door, or visit on your mobile device.
Get transaction details in writing. Be sure you receive a contract or receipt explaining the details of your purchase and all terms and conditions that apply.

Remember the Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule. The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives consumers three days to cancel purchases of more than $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, the salesperson should provide a cancellation form that can be sent to the company. By law, the company must give consumers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

Don’t remain quiet if you become a victim. Victims of fraudulent door-to-door sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at, local law enforcement or state Attorney General’s office.

Start With Trust. For reliable consumer tips and information, visit or phone 970-484-1348 or 800-564-0371.

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