CHAPTER 391

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL

NO. 286 AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENTS NO. 1,3 AND 4

AND SENATE AMENDMENTS

NO. 1,3, AND 4

AN ACT TO AMEND PART II, TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO HIGH PRESSURE DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES TACTICS, AND PROVIDING FOR REMEDIES TO. PURCHASERS OF SALES CAUSED BY HIGH. PRESSURE DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES TACTICS.

WHEREAS, high pressure door-to-door sales tactics provide a format for chicanery, misrepresentation and other unscrupulous methods by which the citizens of this State are cheated out of their earnings and savings; and

WHEREAS, a cancellation or "cooling-off" period concerning such sales would enable the purchaser to reconsider the wisdom and propriety of such sale without undue pressure;

NOW THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend Part II, Title 6 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new chapter to be known and designated as Chapter 44, which said Chapter 44 shall read as follows:

CHAPTER 44. HOME SOLICITATION SALES

§ 4401. Declaration of purpose

This Act shall be interpreted and administered so as to give greatest effect to the public policy of this State, which declares that it is a basic right of every Delaware citizen to be free of, and protected from, high pressure door-to-door sales tactics and the resultant inequities to the consumer found in contracts, poor quality merchandise, and the quick discounting of evidences of indebtedness,

§ 4402. Short title

This Act may be known and cited as the Home Solicitation Sales Act.

§ 4403. Definitions

For purposes of this Act, the following words and phrases, unless otherwise indicated, shall be deemed to have the following meanings:

(a) "Door-to-door sale" — A sale of consumer goods or services, of more than $25 whether single or multiple contracts, in which the seller or his representative initially solicits the sale and the buyer's agreement or offer to purchase is made at a place other than the regular place of business of the seller, provided that, where a delivery of goods under a single contract is made in a regular series of deliveries after the taking of the order, a door-to-door sale shall include a sale of less than $25. The term "door-to-door" shall not include any sale made in the presence of the buyer's attorney or any sale made to benefit a bona fide charitable organization. The term "door-to-door" shall include any solicitations and consummations of sales via any telephone.

(b) "Consumer goods and services" — All goods or services other than (1) those purchased by a buyer for resale in the ordinary course of his present trade or business; or (2) any insurance policy or annuity contract.

(c) "Seller" — Any person engaged in the door-to-door sale of consumer goods or services.

(d) "Purchase price" — The total price paid or to be paid for the consumer goods or services, including all interest and service charges.

(e) "Business day" — Any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

§ 4404. Right to cancel

A buyer may cancel any agreement or contract of sale which is the result of a door-to-door sale, as defined herein, by giving to

the seller notice of cancellation within three full business days following that day on which the contract or sale was made. The three-day period provided for in this section does not commence until the consumer is furnished with the address at which such notice to the seller can be given. When notice of cancellation, as herein provided for, is given, the seller must return to the buyer the full amount of any payment made or consideration given under the contract or for the merchandise. In the event the buyer shall choose to cancel this contract or sale he must make available to the seller at the place of delivery any merchandise, in its original condition, delivered to him under this contract. It is unlawful practice within the meaning of 6 Delaware Code, Section 2513 for a seller to refuse to make full refund as required by this section or for a seller to use any undue influence, coercion, intentional misrepresentation or any other wilful act or representation to interfere with the buyer's exercise of his rights under this section.

§4406. Required wording on contract of sale or receipt of payment

(a) It is also an unlawful practice, under 6, Delaware Code, Section 2513, to fail to include in each door-to-door sales contract and/or receipt of payment, the following statement:

You, the buyer, may cancel this sale or contract for any reason, at any time, within three business days after you have signed the contract and/or purchased the merchandise.

(b) Such statement shall be printed, in bold face type, and in ink of a conspicuous color, other than that used for the rest of the contract and/or receipt, and shall be printed either directly above or directly below the space reserved for the signature of the buyer.

§ 4407. Reimbursements to buyer upon cancellation

If the buyer chooses 'to cancel the sales contract he shall have the right, within ten business days to a return:

(a) of any payments he made under the contract or sale;

(b) of any goods traded in, in as good condition as when received by the seller; and

(c) of any notes or other evidence of indebtedness given by the buyer under the contract for sale; and that he also has the right to keep any goods or merchandise delivered by the seller under the contract or sales unless picked up at the place of delivery by the seller, at the seller's expense within forty business days after cancellation.

§ 4408. Enforcement

The provisions of Title 29, Delaware Code, § 8612 shall be applicable in the event of a violation of any provision of this Act in addition to any civil remedies the buyer may have by law.

Section 2. This Act shall become effective three months after its enactment into law.

Approved May 11, 1972.