AUGUSTA, Maine (Legal Newsline) - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills warned Maine homeowners Monday to be aware of door-to-door sellers using high-pressure tactics to sell paving jobs, home repair services and other goods.
Maine has three statutes that are meant to regulate door-to-door sales and protect consumers from deceptive and high-pressure sales tactics. In most instances, door-to-door sales require a three-day waiting period and a state license.
"An educated consumer is a protected consumer," Mills said. "At the very least, a consumer should know that door-to-door sellers are required to have a permanent address or to be licensed with the state. If you do agree to do business with this person, they must give you a detailed contract and they cannot commence work for three days, during which the consumer may cancel. Demand for payment up front should be a red flag that something is not right."
The Consumer Solicitation Sales Act requires that door-to-door merchandise sellers, including sellers of paving services, home repair services and installation services for burglar alarms, must use a specific written contract and wait three days prior to starting the job. The three-day waiting period gives homeowners the opportunity to review the contract and cancel it in writing. If a deposit was provided to the seller, the law gives the seller 15 days to return it.
The Transient Sales Act regulates sellers who travel into and throughout the state selling goods and services like magazine subscriptions and driveway paving and seem to disappear when issues develop. The law requires transient sellers to be licensed if they do not have a permanent place of business in Maine.
The Door-To-Door Seller of Home Repair Services Act requires that door-to-door sellers of home repair be licensed and carry a Maine-issued license when soliciting in a municipality in which the seller does not have a permanent place of business.
Maine residents can determine if a seller is licensed under the Door-To-Door Seller of Home Repair Services Act or the Transient Sales Act by contacting the Licensing Division at the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.