§ 4401 Declaration of purpose.
This chapter 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 certain ambiguous or misleading contracts, poor quality merchandise and the quick discounting of evidences of indebtedness.
§ 4402 Short title.
This chapter may be known and cited as the “Home Solicitation Sales Act.”
§ 4403 Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) “Business day” shall mean any calendar day except Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays (as that term is defined in Chapter 5 of Title 1).
(2) “Consumer goods or services” shall mean goods or services purchased, leased or rented primarily for personal, family or household purposes, including courses of instruction or training regardless of the purpose for which they are taken.
(3) “Door-to-door sale” shall mean a sale, lease or rental of consumer goods or services with a purchase price of $25 or more, whether under single or multiple contracts, in which the seller or the seller’s representative personally solicits the sale, including those in response to or following an invitation by the buyer, and the buyer’s agreement or offer to purchase is made at a place other than the place of business of the seller. The term “door-to-door sale” does not include a transaction:
a. Made pursuant to prior negotiations in the course of a visit by the buyer to a retail business establishment having a fixed permanent location where the goods are exhibited or the services are offered for sale on a continuing basis;
b. In which the consumer is accorded the right of rescission by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 1635) or regulations issued pursuant thereto;
c. In which the buyer has initiated the contact and the goods or services are needed to meet a bona fide immediate personal emergency of the buyer, and the buyer furnishes the seller with a separate dated and signed personal statement in the buyer’s handwriting describing the situation requiring immediate remedy and expressly acknowledging and waiving the right to cancel the sale within 3 business days;
d. In which the buyer has initiated the contact and the transaction is conducted and consummated entirely by mail or telephone;
e. In which the buyer has initiated the contact and specifically requested the seller to visit the buyer’s home for the purpose of repairing or performing maintenance upon the buyer’s personal property. If in the course of such a visit, the seller sells the buyer the right to receive additional services or goods other than replacement parts necessarily used in performing the maintenance or in making the repairs, the sale of those additional goods or services would not fall within this exclusion; or
f. Pertaining to the sale or rental of real property, to the sale of insurance or to the sale of securities or commodities by a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Except as provided above, the term door-to-door sale shall include any sale solicited and consummated via any telephone.
(4) “Home” shall mean a house, dwelling, condominium, townhouse, apartment or such other residential building or dwelling in which a person resides.
(5) “Place of business” shall mean the main or permanent branch office or a permanent local address of a seller, not including a hotel room, motel room or other temporary quarters.
(6) “Purchase price” shall mean the total price paid or to be paid for the consumer goods or services, including all interest and service charges.
(7) “Seller” shall mean any person, partnership, corporation or association engaged in the door-to-door sale of consumer goods or services.
§ 4404 Unlawful practices.
Section 2513(b)(2) of this title notwithstanding, in connection with any door-to-door sale, it is an unlawful practice within the meaning of § 2513 of this title for any seller to:
(1) Fail to furnish the buyer with a fully completed receipt or copy of any contract pertaining to such sale at the time of its execution, which is in the same language, e.g., Spanish, as that principally used in the oral sales presentation and which shows the date of the transaction and contains the name and address of the seller, and in immediate proximity to the space reserved in the contract for the signature of the buyer or on the front page of the receipt if a contract is not used and in bold-faced type of a minimum size of 10-point, a statement in substantially the following form:
“YOU, THE BUYER, MAY CANCEL THIS TRANSACTION AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO MIDNIGHT OF THE THIRD BUSINESS DAY AFTER THE DATE OF THIS TRANSACTION. SEE THE ATTACHED NOTICE OF CANCELLATION FORM FOR AN EXPLANATION OF THIS RIGHT.”
Beginning 1 year after the effective date of this section, such statement shall be printed in an ink of a conspicuous color other than that used for the rest of the contract and/or receipt.
(2) Fail to furnish each buyer, when signing the door-to-door sales contract or otherwise agrees to buy consumer goods or services from the seller, a completed form in duplicate, captioned “Notice of Cancellation,” which shall be attached to the contract or receipt and easily detachable, and which shall contain in 10-point, bold-faced type the following information and statements in the same language, e.g., Spanish, as that used in the contract:
You may cancel this transaction, without any penalty or obligation, within 3 business days from the above date.
If you cancel, any property traded in, any payments made by you under the contract or sale and any negotiable instrument executed by you will be returned within 10 business days following receipt by the seller of your cancellation notice, and any security interest arising out of the transaction will be cancelled.
If you cancel, you must make available to the seller at your residence, in substantially as good condition as when received, any goods delivered to you under this contract or sale; or you may if you wish comply with the instructions of the seller regarding the return shipment of the goods at the seller’s expense and risk.
If you do not agree to return the goods to the seller or if the seller does not pick them up within 20 days of the date of your Notice of Cancellation, you may retain or dispose of the goods without any further obligation.
To cancel this transaction, mail or deliver a signed and dated copy of this cancellation notice or any other written notice, or send a telegram, to ________________________________, at ____ not later than midnight of ________
I hereby cancel this transaction.
(3) Fail, before furnishing copies of the “Notice of Cancellation” to the buyer, to complete both copies by entering the name of the seller, the address of the seller’s place of business, the date of the transaction and the date, not earlier than the third business day following the date of the transaction, by which the buyer may give the Notice of Cancellation.
(4) Include in any door-to-door contract or receipt any confession of judgment or any waiver of any of the rights to which the buyer is entitled under this chapter including specifically the right to cancel the sale in accordance with this chapter.
(5) Fail to inform each buyer orally, at the time the buyer signs the contract or purchases the goods or services, of the right to cancel.
(6) Misrepresent in any manner the buyer’s right to cancel.
(7) Fail or refuse to honor any valid Notice of Cancellation by a buyer and within 10 business days after the receipt of such Notice, to (i) refund all payments made under the contract or sale; (ii) return any goods or property traded in, in substantially as good condition as when received by the seller; (iii) cancel and return any negotiable instrument executed by the buyer in connection with the contract or sale and take any action necessary or appropriate to terminate promptly any security interest created in the transaction.
(8) Negotiate, transfer, sell or assign any note or other evidence of indebtedness to a finance company or other third party prior to midnight of the fifth business day following the day the contract was signed or the goods or services were purchased.
(9) Fail, within 10 business days of receipt of the buyer’s Notice of Cancellation, to notify the buyer whether the seller intends to repossess or to abandon any shipped or delivered goods.
§ 4405 Door-to-door salesperson identification card.
(a) (1) Any seller or seller’s representative who solicits a door-to-door sale at a home shall prominently display a door-to-door salesperson identification card obtained from the Department of Finance while soliciting a door-to-door sale. The door-to-door salesperson identification card shall be displayed on the person of the seller or the seller’s representative in such a manner so that a potential buyer shall be able to view the door-to-door salesperson identification card during any transaction with the seller or the seller’s representative soliciting a door-to-door sale.
(2) The Department of Finance shall issue the door-to-door salesperson identification card.
(3) A door-to-door salesperson’s identification card may not be reproduced; as such, the Department of Finance must include a watermark or another feature which proves that the card is an original, and not a reproduction.
(4) A door-to-door salesperson identification card shall contain and display the following information concerning a seller or seller’s representative:
a. The seller’s business name;
b. The full legal name of the seller or the seller’s representative;
c. The telephone number of the seller;
d. The address of the seller’s place of business; and
e. The Delaware business license number of the seller.
(5) For purposes of this section, the term “door-to-door sale” shall include a transaction that would be a door-to-door sale but for the $25 purchase price limitation in the definition of “door-to-door sale” in § 4403(3) of this title, regardless of the purchase price.
(6) This section shall apply only to a door-to-door sale where the seller or the seller’s representative personally solicits the sale at the residence of a person and where the solicitation involves contact with the person other than by merely leaving written solicitation or advertising materials at the person’s residence without speaking with the person.
(7) This section does not apply to a door-to-door sale solicited:
a. Via telephone, mail, e-mail, or Internet;
b. Where the seller or the seller’s representative solicits a person or persons who have been invited to the owner’s, lessee’s, and/or resident’s home for the purpose of hearing the solicitation;
c. Where the owner, lessee and/or resident of a home invited a seller or a seller’s representative into and/or to the home for the purpose of such solicitation;
d. By a nonprofit organization under § 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)) or Delaware law; or
e. By a public utility or cable television system operator, as defined in § 102(2) or (4) of Title 26, or its agents, provided that such salespersons prominently display an identification card containing the name of the public utility or cable television system operator and in such a manner that a potential buyer shall be able to view it during any transaction with the seller or a representative thereof soliciting a door-to-door sale.
(8) Whoever violates this section shall for the first offense be fined not less than $75 nor more than $150. For each subsequent like offense the person shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $250.
(b) (1) The Department of Finance shall educate the public that this statute exists and what an individual can do if the individual reasonably believes that a door-to-door salesperson is not complying with the provisions of this section and § 4406 of this title.
(2) The Department of Finance must provide on its website a list of door-to-door salesperson identification cards, and such list must include the information contained on each identification card.
§ 4406 Time of solicitation.
(a) A door-to-door sale shall be solicited by a seller or a seller’s representative at a home between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. prevailing Delaware time, only.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term “door-to-door sale” shall include a transaction that would be a door-to-door sale but for the $25 purchase price limitation in the definition of “door-to-door sale” in § 4403(3) of this title, regardless of the purchase price.
(c) This section does not apply to a door-to-door sale solicited:
(1) Via telephone, mail, e-mail, or Internet;
(2) Where the seller or the seller’s representative solicits a person or persons who have been invited to the owner’s, lessee’s, and/or resident’s home for the purpose of hearing the solicitation;
(3) Where the owner, lessee and/or resident of a home invited a seller or a seller’s representative into and/or to the home for the purpose of such solicitation;
(4) By a nonprofit organization under § 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)) or Delaware law; or
(5) By a public utility or cable television system operator, as defined in § 102(2) or (4) of Title 26, or its agents, provided that such salespersons prominently display an identification card containing the name of the public utility or cable television system operator and in such a manner that a potential buyer shall be able to view it during any transaction with the seller or a representative thereof soliciting a door-to-door sale.
(d) Whoever violates this section shall for the first offense be fined not less than $75 nor more than $150. For each subsequent like offense the person shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $250.
§ 4407 Enforcement.
In addition to any remedies the buyer may have at law or in equity, the authority of the Attorney General under Chapter 25 of Title 29 shall apply to violations of this chapter.