If you sell products and services worth over £35 to a customer on their doorstep, you must let them know in writing they have the right to cancel within 7 days. You must include certain information in the Notice of the Right to Cancel.
This applies whether you visit a customer with or without an appointment or agree the sales contract verbally or in writing.
It includes the sale of products and services to customers at:
- their home
- their workplace
- another individual’s home
- on an excursion you’ve organised away from your business premises
You must provide specific information about cancellation in a document called ‘Notice of the Right to Cancel’.
Notice of the Right to Cancel
You must give this document to the customer when the contract is made. It must:
- be either a separate document or in a prominent separate box on the contract with the heading ‘Notice of the Right to Cancel’
- state that the customer has at least 7 calendar days to cancel the contract
- have a detachable cancellation form with your contact details that the customer can fill in and return to you
The 7 days is usually from the date the contract was made. It starts when the customer makes an offer if the offer’s made:
- during a visit by the trader to the consumer’s home or place of work or someone else’s home
- during an excursion organised by the trader away from his business premises
The document must contain:
- identity of the trader including trading name (if applicable)
- trader’s reference number, code or other details to enable the contract or offer to be identified
- statement that the consumer has a right to cancel the contract if they wish and that this right can be exercised by delivering, or sending (including by email) a cancellation notice to the person mentioned in the next paragraph at any time within the period of 7 days starting with the day of receipt of a notice in writing of the right to cancel the contract
- name and address, (email as well as postal address) of someone the customer can give a cancellation notice
- statement that notice is considered to be given as soon as it’s sent
- statement that the consumer can use the cancellation form provided if they wish
For contracts where work or services start within the 7 days, you must get written authorisation to start. The notice must also state that the customer must pay a reasonable amount for goods or services covered by the contract before any cancellation.
You can’t enforce a contract if you don’t provide a customer with a Notice Of the Right to Cancel.
Who the rules apply to
You’ll need to provide a Notice of the Right to Cancel if you sell goods and services such as:
- home improvement, repair and maintenance services
- gardening services
- personal items such as cosmetics, clothes, jewellery and toiletries
- household items
- books and leisure items
- nutrition and health products
- energy supplies (eg gas and electricity)
- disability aids and mobility products such as stair lifts, scooters and buggies
These regulations won’t apply to you if you make a solicited visit to a customer for regulated finance plans such as mortgages and consumer credit agreements.
Other exceptions include visits made to a customer with or without an appointment for:
- agreements that are cancellable under the Consumer Credit Act 1974
- contracts for the construction, sale or rental of property (but they do apply to extensions, patios, conservatories or driveways and to repairs, refurbishment and improvement of property)
- insurance contracts
- contracts for food and drink supplied by regular roundsmen
- contracts under £35
- contracts relating to shares and investments
- catalogue orders where there is a notice showing the right to return goods or cancel the contract
Failure to provide a valid notice is a criminal offence. If convicted the trader and/or their business could be fined up to £5,000.
Doorstep selling, regulations, written notice of the right to cancel, exemptions, penalties