Sometimes, it’s hard to say "no" when a salesman knocks on your door or when a telemarketer calls during dinner. And sometimes, aggressive solicitors won’t take no for an answer. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and his Consumer Protection Division want to give Arkansans helpful tips for effectively refusing overly forceful solicitations.
McDaniel issued this consumer alert to make consumers aware of their rights when dealing with solicitors and to help them avoid being scammed or falling prey to shady business deals.
"I want consumers to know what their rights are and that Arkansas laws protect them from nuisance solicitations," McDaniel said. "It’s your home, it’s your phone and it’s your money. You always have the right to say no."
Arkansas law currently provides the following protections for consumers against solicitors:
Arkansans may sign up for the national "Do Not Call" registry. Telemarketers are prohibited from blocking caller ID. The Arkansas "No Rebuttal" law requires telemarketer to end a call when the consumer indicates that he or she is not interested in purchasing a product or continuing with the call. Consumers can cancel any home-solicitation sale within three days of purchasing an item or service, including contracts on equipment that has already been installed. Consumers can cancel for any reason. Door-to-door sellers must verbally inform buyers of their cancellation rights and these sellers must provide buyers with two copies of a cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt.
The Consumer Protection Division has provided suggested refusal scripts for consumers, along with tips to keep solicitors away for good. We encourage consumers to practice giving firm but polite responses so that they are prepared when contacted by unwanted solicitors.
Refusal script for telemarketers: Ask who the solicitor is and what organization or company with which they are affiliated. Make note of the solicitor’s information, if possible. Notify the solicitor if the number they have called is listed in the "Do Not Call" registry. Even if your number is not on the "Do Not Call" registry, you have the right to ask the caller to place your number on the company "Do Not Call" list. After writing down the solicitor’s name, company and phone number, say "I’m not interested, thank you," and hang up.
Refusal script for door-to-door solicitors: "May I see a photo ID?" "What is your company/organizational affiliation?" "Are you local?" Write down the solicitor’s information, if possible. If the solicitor cannot answer the following two questions, it is a red flag that they are probably not a credible seller "What is your company’s three-day right to cancel policy? "Can you provide me with a copy of your home solicitation policy? "I wish you the best of luck, but I am not interested."
For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or call 1-800-482-8982.