Door to door sales
There’s certain information you must give your customers when selling door to door (also known as doorstep selling).
This includes the sale of goods and services to customers at:
- their home
- their workplace
- another individual’s home
You must also follow the general rules for accepting returns or giving refunds.
Before an order is placed
You must provide:
- your business name, contact details and address (if you’re selling for another company, you must also give their details)
- an address for customer complaints, if this is different to your business address
- a description of your goods or services and a reminder that any goods must be of reasonable quality and as described
- the total price or how this will be calculated
- how a customer can pay
- delivery arrangements, costs and how long goods will take to arrive
- the minimum length of their contract and billing period and the costs of any open-ended contracts or subscriptions
- conditions for ending rolling contracts or contracts with no clear end date
- how they can cancel and when they lose their right to cancel
- a standard cancellation form, if they can cancel
- if they will still need to pay reasonable costs for using a service after they cancel
- amount and conditions for any deposits or other financial guarantees
- what any digital content does and what software it works with (for example, the language it’s in or what operating system it can be used with)
- the cost of using phone lines or other communication to complete the contract where it will cost more than the basic rate
- if you’re part of a code of conduct or dispute resolution scheme, where they can find details of this
- if you have a complaints handling policy, what this is
- any conditions of guarantees, services or after sales assistance
The information must be easy to understand and on paper, in an email or in a form that the customer can save for future reference.
Right to cancel
You must tell the customer they can cancel their order up to 14 days after the contract was made. They don’t need to give a reason for cancelling.
If you don’t tell the customer about their right to cancel, they can cancel at any time in the next 12 months. If you tell them about the right to cancel during these 12 months, they have 14 days to cancel from when you told them.
If you don’t tell the customer about their right to cancel, you could pay an unlimited fine and go to prison for up to 2 years.
When a customer doesn’t have to pay
If you don’t tell the customer about certain costs in advance, they don’t have to pay them.
- costs that are conditions of their right to cancel
- extra costs for delivery
- extra costs to return goods, for example when they are too large for normal post
After an order is placed
You must let the customer know that the contract is confirmed. This includes providing all the information you gave them before they placed the order, on paper, unless they agree to another format.
You must also:
- deliver the goods as soon as possible and within 30 days, unless you’ve agreed otherwise with the customer
- provide the service as soon as possible, unless you’ve agreed a time period with the customer
You may need a pedlar’s certificate if you sell goods door to door and carry them with you.
These rules don’t apply to:
- goods and services worth £42 or less
- bus, train, flight and other tickets for passenger travel
- NHS prescriptions and treatment (free and paid for)
- financial services, for example pensions, mortgages, credit
- the construction of new buildings (but not extensions)
- food and drink supplied regularly (like milkmen)
- package holidays, timeshares and holiday clubs
- contracts to let a property the customer will live in, for example renting a house or flat (although they do apply to estate agents’ marketing services)
- goods bought from a vending machine
- using a payphone or paying to use an internet connection (for example, at an internet café)