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3-Day Cooling Off Rule

Learn how you can cancel a purchase under this consumer rule.

Know Your Rights

This federal law protects consumers in their homes during door-to-door sales pitches or at sales in temporary business locations. According to the FTC, the 3-Day Cooling-Off Rule does NOT apply to the purchase of new automobiles or items sold online. It only applies when a company is selling something that costs $25 or more at a location other than its regular place of business.

To comply with the 3-Day Cooling-Off Rule, a seller must inform buyers of their right to cancel the sale and receive a full refund within three business days.

Be aware that there are situations in which the Cooling-Off Rule does not apply:

  • You made the purchase entirely by mail, online, or telephone.
  • The sale was the result of prior contact you had at the seller’s permanent business location.
  • You signed a document waiving your right to cancel.
  • Your purchase is not primarily for personal, family or household use. .
  • You were buying real estate, insurance, securities, or a motor vehicle.
  • You cannot return the item in a condition similar to how you received it.

Remember, if you paid by credit card and are having difficulty getting your refund, you may also be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act.