July 21, 2011 – Milwaukee, Wis. – With grilling season upon us, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) doesn’t want you to get burned by companies going door to door selling packaged meat.
BBB offices nationwide have been fielding inquiries and taking complaints against companies who sell boxes of meat for hundreds of dollars via door-to-door sales in residential communities, and complaints always seem to rise during the summer season. In the past year, nearly 500 consumers have filed complaints with the BBB against meat sellers, more than 40 from Wisconsin.
Complaints generally involve product dissatisfaction and sales tactics but most complaints allege inability to reach the company after the sale.
“If you change your mind after you’ve paid for the meat and call the company for a refund, chances are the company is not going to answer the phone or return your calls,” said Ran Hoth, president/CEO of the Wisconsin BBB. “It seems they deliberately avoid contact in the chance that you’re requesting a refund.”
The Wisconsin BBB wants consumers to know that they have the right to cancel a sale made on their doorsteps, and they should follow the correct procedure to cancel the sale properly.
The Three Day Right to Cancel, which is also referred to as the “Cooling-Off Rule”, allows a person to cancel a purchase of $25 or more within three days. The transaction must be initiated by a face-to-face solicitation away from the merchant’s regular place of business.
“If you’ve made a purchase at your home, at a fair park, a mall or trade show and you change your mind, put your cancellation and refund request in writing and keep a copy for your records,” said Hoth. “Then, mail your letter, making sure it is postmarked by midnight on the third business day.” (Saturday is considered a business day).
The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to consumers before making a purchase from a door-to-door salesman:
- Ask for literature from the company and read about the products offered.
- Know who you’re buying from. Reputable companies will have a local office with a published price list or brochure that includes the company’s street address and phone number
- Never pay in cash. Only pay by check or credit card.
- Ask to see licensing and vendor permits. If one cannot be produced, call your local police department to report it.
- Be sure your receipt is dated.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau for a Business Review on the company at www.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 608-268-2221 (Madison), 920-734-4352 (Northeast Wisconsin) or 800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).