TITLE 6

Commerce and Trade

SUBTITLE II

Other Laws Relating to Commerce and Trade

CHAPTER 25. PROHIBITED TRADE PRACTICES

Subchapter IX. Home Food Service Plan Sales


This subchapter may be cited as the "Delaware Home Food Service Plan Sales Act."

70 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1.;

The purpose of this subchapter is to safeguard the public against deceit and misrepresentation and to ensure, foster and encourage truthful practices and disclosure in home food service plan sales.

70 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1.;

As used in this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) "Buyer" means both the actual and prospective purchaser of a home food service plan, but does not include persons purchasing for resale.

(2) "Contract" means all of the collective written or oral agreements between a seller and a buyer relating to the purchase of a home food service plan, except promissory notes or other financing agreements.

(3) "Food item" means each edible product sold as part of a home food service plan, including, but not limited to, each constituent part or kind of meat cut from a primal source, each kind of whole poultry or poultry part, seafood products and other like products.

(4) "Home food service plan" means a plan of food items or food items in combination with non-food items and/or service offered by the seller for profit and for sale in the consumer's home, whether or not a membership fee or similar charge is involved. Sales of immediately consumable food items, "Meals on Wheels" or similar programs, "fund-raising efforts" and meals prepared in the consumer's home by another are not within the definition of a "home food service plan."

(5) "Item price" means the price of a food or non-food item sold as part of a home food service plan, computed to the nearest tenth of 1 cent when less than $1.00 and to the nearest cent when $1.00 or more. The item price, exclusive of any service charge(s), shall be expressed in terms of the price per unit of weight, measure or count set forth in "Uniform Unit Pricing Regulation" in the current edition of National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 130.

(6) "Non-food item" means each inedible product sold as part of a home food service plan, including, but not limited to, paper products, health and beauty products, detergents, cleaners and disinfectants, rolls of wrapping and like products. The term does not include food items and durable consumer goods such as appliances.

(7) "Primal source" means the following cuts:

a. For beef, the primal sources are the round, flank, loin, rib, plate, brisket, chuck and shank;

b. For veal and lamb or mutton, the primal sources are the leg, flank, loin, rack (rib) and shoulder; and

c. For pork, the primal sources are the belly, loin, ham, spareribs, shoulder and jowl.

(8) "Seller" means any person, partnership, corporation or association, however organized, engaged in the sale of a home food service plan.

(9) "Service charge" means the total price for any additional features, services and processing associated with the purchase of a home food service plan, whether stated in terms of membership fees or otherwise.

70 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1.;

(a) At the time of sale, the seller shall provide the buyer with a written document referred to in this section as the "written agreement," which shall clearly and conspicuously disclose all of the following:

(1) The name, address and telephone number of the seller and the name and address of the buyer;

(2) The date of the contract;

(3) The price of the food and non-food items included in the home food service plan;

(4) The service charge or the price of any service charges associated with the home food service plan;

(5) The total price of the home food service plan, including the price of the food and non-food items, and the price of any service charge(s); and

(6) A statement that the buyer shall have the right to cancel the home food service plan contract until midnight of the third business day after the date on which the buyer executes the contract or until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the buyer takes first delivery or until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the seller provides the buyer with the fully executed copy of the contract, whichever is later, by giving written notice of cancellation to the seller. Compliance with requirements of Chapter 44 of this title governing the form of notice of right of cancellation in home solicitation sales shall be deemed satisfactory notice of the requirements of this regulation.

(b) In addition to the above disclosures required in the written agreement, all of the following disclosures are required to be given to the buyer at the time of sale:

(1) A written list of all food and non-food items to be sold, which shall include:

a. The identity of each item and, where applicable, the United States Department of Agriculture quality grade of the item, if so graded; the primal source; and the brand or trade name;

b. The quantity of each item sold;

c. The estimated serving size by net weight of each piece of meat, poultry and seafood item offered for sale under the home food service plan; provided however, that such estimates shall not differ from the actual weight at the time of delivery by more than 5 percent, and that the dollar value of the meat, poultry and seafood items delivered is equal to or greater than that represented to the buyer; and

d. The net weight, measure or count of all other food and non-food items offered for sale;

(2) A current item price list stating, in dollars and cents, the price per kilogram or pound or other appropriate unit of measure and the total sale price of each item to be delivered. This price list shall clearly and conspicuously identify whether there are additional costs disclosed in the written agreement relating to any "service charges" associated with the purchase of the home food service plan;

(3) If a membership is sold, a written statement of all terms, conditions, benefits and privileges applicable to the membership; and

(4) If a service charge is included, a written statement specifically identifying the service(s) provided and the price(s) charged for them.

(c) At the time of delivery, the seller shall provide a receipt, for signature by the buyer, disclosing all of the following information:

(1) The identity of each food and non-food item and the net quantity of the contents in terms of either weight, measure or count, as required by applicable law. The net weight of each food item delivered shall be within the limit specified in paragraph (b)(1)c. of this section; and

(2) The item price and total sales price of each food and non-food item. The item price shall be the same as that specified on the item price list given to the buyer at the time of sale.

70 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1.;

Any advertisement of a home food service plan which discloses item pricing information in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter shall set forth in a clear and conspicuous manner whether there are any service charges or other additional costs associated with the purchase of the home food service plan.

70 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1.;

(a) The Attorney General shall have the same authority in enforcing, remedying, and otherwise carrying out the provisions of this subchapter as is provided by Chapter 25 of Title 29 and by §§ 2511-2527 and 2531-2536 of this title.

(b) If a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction finds that any person has wilfully violated this subchapter, the Attorney General, upon petition to the court or tribunal, shall recover from the person, on behalf of the State, in addition to all costs, a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation pursuant to § 2513 of this title. If the violation is against an elder person or person with a disability an additional civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation shall be recovered pursuant to § 2581 of this title. Each day that a wilful violation continues shall be considered a separate violation.

(c) For the purpose of this subchapter, a wilful violation occurs when the party committing the violation knew or should have known that the party's conduct was of the nature prohibited by this subchapter.

(d) The remedies provided for in this subchapter are not exclusive, and shall be in addition to any other procedures, rights or remedies which exist with respect to any other provision of law.

70 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 5; 79 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 3.;