Consumer Protection Law
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California has the best consumer protection laws in the country. However, the idea that there is a state or federally mandated 3-day cooling off period on all contracts is an urban myth. While a number of industries are regulated in California, the majority have no cooling-off period for contracts.
Some products and services have a 3 to 7-day cooling off period under the California buyers remorse laws. These include credit repair services and home equity sales contracts, which have a 5-day cooling off period. Discount buying services in California have a 3-day cooling off period, as do dating services, seminar sales, weight reduction services, and job listing services. Health club memberships have a 3-day cooling off period. So do contracts or plans for services with a dental office.
Under the California buyers remorse laws, timeshare contracts allow 3 days for cooling off after the contract is signed. So do camping membership contracts, except that the consumer has 10 days if they have not visited the camp before signing.
California law requires that dance studios must allow consumers to cancel up to six months after your transaction, and for an unlimited longer time at a 10 percent penalty. Consumers are required to pay for the services they actually received.
Home solicitation contracts also have a 3-day cooling off period. This applies to any seller operating outside their normal place of business. This includes transactions at hotels, restaurants and "home" parties. It does not, however, apply to a seller who simply delivers items that the consumer negotiated for at the seller's normal place of business. (Which, chances are where your satellite purchase falls.) Telemarketers must inform you at the time of the call that you have a 3-day right to cancel.
Looking closer at the home solicitation cooling off period, it applies to home solicitation, or "door-to-door" sales. It covers the sale, lease, or rental of consumer goods or services whereby the seller visits the consumer at a his or her home or at any place other than the seller's fixed business location. If the sale is for more than $25, and the items or services purchased are for personal, family, or household use. If you feel that your satellite service fits here then you should also know that a home seller is required to provide a consumer with a "Notice of Cancellation" form whenever a sale is made and/or a contract is signed, and must verbally inform the consumer of his or her right to cancel the contract. To cancel a sale or contract the consumer must simply sign and date the Notice of Cancellation form and mail it back to the seller. To ensure a full refund, this must be done before midnight of the third business day after the sale or signing of the contract. If the seller failed to provide the Notice of Cancellation form as required, the consumer has even longer to cancel the contract. Until the consumer receives the Notice of Cancellation form, he or she may cancel the contract at any time. The consumer's cancellation should be in writing and either delivered to the seller or the post office. Certified mail is recommended for all cancellation notices. Once the contract is canceled, the seller may not require the consumer to pay to return the goods. If the seller fails to ask for return of the merchandise within 20 days of cancellation, the consumer cannot be forced to return the goods. In any event, a consumer may retain purchased goods until he or she has recovered moneys spent and/or any signed contract or note.
In the event you do not feel the home solicitation clause applies to your purchase. You may be stuck adhering to the cancellation terms as provided in the contract.
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