No changing your mind unless you bought door-to-door

Consumer protection information is available on the Attorney General's Web site at:

Many consumers believe they have a "cooling-off period" after they sign a contract, that they have the option of changing their mind a few days after signing a contract.

But, as a general rule, a signed contract cannot be canceled. You cannot cancel a contract simply because you have changed your mind, Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa warned during National Consumer Protection Week, Feb. 14-20.

One of the few exceptions is door-to-door sales.

Under Nevada law, if a consumer buys an item at their residence or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business, the consumer does have the right to change his or her mind. The cooling-off period for a door-to-door sale allows the consumer to cancel the contract and receive a full refund, if the consumer does so before the third business day following the sale. Nevada's door-to-door sales statute requires the salesperson, at the time of sale, to inform the consumer about his cancellation rights. The salesperson must also provide a cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt. The contract or receipt should be dated, show the name and address of the seller, and explain the right to cancel.

There are some types of sales that cannot be canceled, even if they occur at the consumer's residence. Nevada's door-to-door sales law does not apply to sales that:

-- Are under $25;

-- Are for goods or services not primarily intended for personal, family or household purposes;

-- Are made entirely by mail or telephone;

-- Are the result of prior negotiations at the seller's permanent business location where he regularly sales goods;

-- Are needed to meet an emergency; or

-- Are made as part of the consumer's request for the seller to do repairs or maintenance on the consumer's personal property;

Also exempt from Nevada's door-to-door sales law are sales that involve real estate, insurance, securities, automobiles, mobile homes, or the provision of utility services.

If the consumer cancels the purchase, the seller has ten days to cancel and return any negotiable instrument signed by the consumer, refund the consumer's money, and return any trade-in. Within 20 days, the seller must either pick up the items left with the consumer, or reimburse the consumer for mailing expenses. If he seller does not provide instructions on how to return the goods or pick them up within the twenty days, the consumer may retain or dispose of the items without any further obligation. The law allows the seller to assess a cancellation penalty, not to exceed five percent of the total purchase price, $15, or any down payment paid by the buyer at the time the contract was entered into, whichever is the less.

For more information on this and other consumer matters, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection Division at (702) 486-3786, in Reno at (775) 688-1818 or in Carson City at (775) 687-6300. or contact the Attorney General's office statewide by calling Nevada's toll free switch board at 1-800-992-0900.


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