Pinellas County is warning residents about engaging in home solicitation sales as the Office of Consumer Protection has received an increased number of complaints resulting from these type of sales.
Pinellas County is warning residents about engaging in home solicitation sales as the office of Consumer Protection has received an increased number of complaints resulting from these type of sales. It is most frequently reported that the product or service sold was not delivered or that the work was of poor quality.
Door-to-door solicitation has become a more frequent occurrence among salespeople and scammers alike, offering everything from home repair services and alarm systems to the sale of meat.
“These types of sales can cause financial harm to consumers and could result in identity theft,” said Pinellas County Consumer Protection Operations Manager Doug Templeton. “A home solicitation sale does not give the buyer time to research the product or company; therefore, consumers are not aware of who they are conducting business with. This poses safety concerns, as well as possible damage to the home in cases of home repair services.”
Pursuant to Chapter 501.021 of the Florida Statutes, individuals who engage in (or who supervise minors engaged in) certain door-to-door solicitation activities that sell, lease or rent consumer goods or services with a purchase price in excess of $25 are required to obtain a home solicitation permit issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Conducting home solicitation sales without the required permit can result in criminal penalties. A home solicitation occurs at a place other than the sellers fixed location, such as your home and must be unsolicited.
- In order to obtain a permit, individuals must pay a fee and pass a criminal background check.
- All home solicitation sellers must provide the buyer with a written contract.
- The contract must include the buyer’s signature, date and buyer’s right to cancel clause.
- Home solicitation laws allow buyers a three-day right to cancel from the date the contract is signed.
Residents are encouraged to call Pinellas County Consumer Protection at (727) 464-6200 if they suspect a violation of home solicitation sales.
Pinellas County Consumer Protection provides assistance in the resolution of consumer-business disputes, investigates allegations of criminal violations, educates and informs consumer and business communities regarding existing consumer protection laws and regulates high-prescribing health clinics, bingo, and adult use ordinances.