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Canvassing Clarification the visit of a professional to a consumer’s home, at the latter’s request, does not necessarily constitute canvassing.
Consumer law is particularly protective of the consumer in the event of door-to-door canvassing, in particular by allowing him to be able to withdraw free of charge. But still need to know what is meant by door-to-door sales?
The Definition of Canvassing in Consumer Services:-
Believing that she had been canvassed at home by a company, a person opposed the check she had paid as a down payment for an order for an air conditioning unit. In this case, the salesperson went, at the client’s request, to her home in order to carry out a technical study relating to different types of air conditioning installation in her apartment. The company sent an estimate to the client, who accepted it by sending a check.
A few days later, and after the company had refused to cancel the order, the customer filed a stop order on the grounds that the chosen installation did not suit her.
The dispute is taken to court. To accommodate the consumer’s request for termination of the contract, reimbursement of the deposit paid and damages, the local court of Nîmes considered that the company which went to the site was bound when notifying its estimate to respect the provisions of the Consumer Code, and to establish an estimate mentioning in particular the right of renunciation.
Legal Considerations for In-Home Visits:-
The Court of Cassation, under the visa of article L121-21 of the Consumer Code, breaks the judgment, rejects the request, on the grounds that the order was firm and final.
The High Jurisdiction of the Judicial Order considers that “the trip of a professional to the home of a consumer to study the premises and take the necessary measures to draw up an estimate sent later by post, does not does not constitute canvassing when, during this trip, no commitment has been made by the consumer”.
However, more recently, according to a cassation decision without referral from the Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation, the contract concluded at the permanent and usual place of practice of the professional but following the sending of an advertising letter to the home of the consumer is considered an off-premises contract. The consumer can therefore take advantage of the protective legal regime applicable to door-to-door sales provided for by the Consumer Code.
Finally, it is not the place that matters to define canvassing, but the fact that the canvasser is at the initiative of the commercial action.
Finally, be aware that under the law, repeated and insistent solicitations or the use of physical or moral constraint characterize aggressive commercial practice. These criminal methods defined in Articles L. 122-11 to L. 122-15 of the Consumer Code are punishable by 2 years imprisonment together with a fine of 150,000 euros.
DAMY Law Firm, consumer law, 2022 update