Door-to-door sales lawsuit resolved in N.C.

Keith Loria May 12, 2010, 3:00pm


RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that two home repair firms have agreed to pay a total of $100,000 for violating North Carolina consumers' three-day right to cancel door-to-door sales contracts.

In two separate lawsuits filed in 2008, the attorney general alleged that The Window Pros, a Statesville-based window replacement company, and Pender County paving contractor H.A.R.D Top Asphalt Maintenance, often failed to inform consumers about their three-day right to cancel door-to-door sales contracts and made the process of canceling almost impossible.

Under North Carolina law, consumers may opt out of most contracts from door-to-door sales or in-home solicitations within three days of signing a contract. Door-to-door salesmen are also required by law to let customers know about these rights.

Last week, Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael R. Morgan signed permanent injunctions against both companies and ordered them to abide by state law on contract cancellations.

"A high-pressure door-to-door sales pitch can be hard to say 'no' to," Cooper said. "The three-day right to cancel is an important tool because it gives consumers breathing room to rethink certain purchases."

Cooper argued that H.A.R.D. Top and Henry Heil, the company's owner, allegedly targeted seniors in their solicitations, often charging high prices and performing shoddy work. Some of the complaints the attorney general received included paving before a homeowner had authorized any work and then demanding immediate payment.

Cooper also argued that The Window Pros allegedly made it very difficult for consumers to cancel contracts within the three-day period. Some consumers were allegedly informed by the company that they needed to get their cancellations notarized when all one has to do is sign in a form and mail it. Other consumers were allegedly threatened with lawsuits if they canceled.

The Window Pros must pay $50,000 for consumer refunds and education. Furthermore, the company must fully comply with the law that allows consumers to cancel door-to-door sales contracts and educate all their sales force about the law.

"If someone comes knocking on your door, offering to work on your home, check them out thoroughly before you say yes," Cooper said. "And if you decide to go ahead with the work, make sure you know about your right to cancel."

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