Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010 in
“I bought a car and now I’ve decided I don’t want it. Can I return the car?”
We get this question at the BBB more frequently than you would think. The answer is: You have no legal right to return the car because you signed a contract at the seller’s permanent place of business.
“But, what about the Cooling-Off Rule that says I can return things?” That’s right, there is the Cooling-Off Rule. It states if you buy an item of $25 or more in your home or a location other than the seller’s permanent place of business, you have until midnight of the third business day after the sale to let the company know you want to cancel the contract or simply ask for your money back. So, buying a car doesn’t apply.
If the company comes to your door selling a product, such as a new roof, and you sign the contract, you can cancel the contract as long as you stay within the guidelines of the Cooling-Off Rule. However, if the company comes on an emergency basis to fix a problem such as flooding in your home, the Rule does not apply.
Once you decide you want to cancel your purchase and it fits within the guidelines of the Cooling-Off Rule, put your cancellation in writing, using their cancellation form or compose your own letter. Send it by certified mail before midnight of the third business day after the contract is signed. Be sure to remember that Saturday is considered a business day; Sundays and federal holidays are not.
Of course, now that you have cancelled, you have to give the product back, if you have received one. The seller could be responsible for picking up the item(s) left with you or has 20 days to reimburse you for mailing expenses, if you agree to send the item(s) back. Be sure to review your contract as to the terms of cancellation you have agreed upon.
'If you paid for your purchase with a credit card and you have a billing dispute, notify the credit card company. Do this within 60 days after receiving the first bill containing the disputed amount. Remember, credit card disputes must be done in writing.
If you have questions about the Cooling-Off Rule, let me know.