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Things to know about door sales

Dawn Gibson
Monday, August 11, 2014

FIJI'S very own consumer rights watchdog the Consumer Council of Fiji, has kept a very close surveillance on door-to-door sales agents, as many people appreciate the convenience of their services.

It has noted however, that customers often purchase blindly and are not necessarily familiar with terms of purchase.

Council CEO Premila Kumar said people needed to understand that when seeking redress for such purchases, their rights remained the same as when purchasing from anywhere else.

"Consumers' right to seek redress remains intact even when buying goods or signing up for service in a door-to-door sale," she said.

"It is subject to a 'cooling-off period', whereby consumers have 14 days as cooling-off period, commencing on and including the day on which the contract is made, to cancel the contract or return the goods, if found to have faults/flaws in the transaction."

She said one of the first things to consider when engaging in such purchases was the validity of the sales agent.

"Ask for the salesperson's ID card, take note of the name of the business organisation he/she represents and get their contacts.

"Ask for a contract and make sure that you understand what your rights and obligations are under a contract before signing it.

"Do not sign a contract that has blank provisions or in the absence of the other party that is supposed to sign the contract."

Mrs Kumar said it was important that as consumers, you check the product thoroughly before purchasing it.

"And also, ask as many questions as you can to the salesperson selling the item to you.

"Sales agents should not be entertained during prohibited hours — Sunday or on a public holiday; on Saturday after 9pm or any other day between 8pm and midnight and between midnight and 8am for the purpose of negotiating a contract.

"Consumers can return a product or seek a refund within 14 days which is the cooling-off period. Consumers are advised to be alert, apply common sense, check the products, read the contracts before entering into any financial transaction."

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