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Understanding door-to-door solicitation laws

Posted: 5:54 AM, Jul 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-08 23:52:49-04
Solicitor sign

NAMPA, Idaho — At some point in our lives, we've heard that unexpected knock at the door. Oftentimes, that unexpected knock is a door-to-door sales representative. The Better Business Bureau tells 6 On Your Side that last year over 500 door-to-door scams were reported across the U.S. That's why it's important to understand solicitation laws and how to protect yourself.

On the State level, Deputy Attorney General with the Consumer Protection Division, Brett Delange, tells us in Idaho, "we have what’s called the three-day right to cancel. It’s a cooling off period."

Meaning, if you make a hasty decision or felt pressured to purchase a product during a door-to-door sale at your home, you have three days to cancel the transaction with absolutely no penalties. However, this law is not applicable to sales outside of the door-to-door realm or to scams.

Consumer experts urge people to look for company logos, name tags or city-issued identification cards to avoid falling for an illegitimate business sale. Delange adds, "Don’t suspend your judgment, you know. Take the time you need. If it’s a good deal today, it’ll be a good deal tomorrow."

If a sales pitch sounds enticing and you are curious, "Better Business Bureau has a file on all businesses and you can look them up on BBB.org. You can look up their business licensing or any other licensing information they are required to have depending on the industry," says BBB's Rebecca Barr.

BOISE

  • Solicitors must have a valid city issued identification card present at all times.
  • By law you may ask a solicitor for their identification card, if they do not have the identification card present call 208-377-6790 (Boise non-emergency dispatch)
  • To report suspicious or aggressive behavior call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Non-profit 501c(3) organizations do not need a city license, but for your safety always request identification to verify their identity.

NAMPA

  • Solicitors must have a valid city issued identification card present at all times.
  • By law you may ask a solicitor for their identification card, if they do not have the identification card present call 208-465-2257 (Nampa non-emergency dispatch)
  • To report suspicious or aggressive behavior call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Businesses, schools, students, community members are not allowed to solicit when a "no soliciting" or "no solicitors" sign is present.

MERIDIAN

  • Solicitors must have a valid city issued identification card present at all times.
  • By law you may ask a solicitor for their identification card, if they do not have the identification card present call 208-377-6790 (Meridian non-emergency dispatch).
  • To report suspicious or aggressive behavior call 9-1-1 immediately.

Regardless of what city you live in, if a solicitor, welcome or unwelcome makes you feel uncomfortable you may ask them to leave and by law, they must do so. Contact your city's non-emergency dispatch for more.

If you'd like to learn more about door-to-door scams and how to navigate them, check out the Better Business Bureau's article, Homeowner's Guide: How To Avoid Door-To-Door Scams.