Know Your Rights When a Door-to-Door Solicitor Knocks
Sept. 22, 2010
No matter what goods or services door-to-door solicitors offer — cable services, home improvements, home security alarms, magazine subscriptions, lawn or cleaning services and more — they are required to have a license issued by the Fairfax County Regulation and Licensing Branch. The Fairfax County Solicitor’s License is a laminated card with the solicitor’s photograph, name and other information. Solicitors may only go door to door between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., and are required to leave when asked.
Residents should immediately report violations and concerns about strangers in a neighborhood going door to door to the Fairfax County Police Department’s non-emergency number, 703-691-2131, TTY 711.
Before you agree to buy goods or services from a door-to-door salesperson, it is important to know your rights under the federal Cooling-Off Rule and the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act, including your right to cancel and the seller’s obligations. Together, these laws apply to virtually all purchases of $25 or more made in your home or at any location that is not the seller's permanent place of business.
Solicitors from accredited educational institutions or solicitors selling insurance, newspapers, farm products grown by the seller (meat excluded) are not required to have a County Solicitor License. Non-profit organizations registered with the state of Virginia and/or Fairfax County must carry identification indicating their registration but are not required to have a County Solicitor License.
For advice, Consumer Affairs Branch investigators are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for walk-in assistance in Suite 433, Fairfax County Government Center or call 703-222-8435, TTY 711. Questions also can be submitted by e-mail. The Consumer Affairs Branch helps with filing consumer complaints, answering questions, compiling complaint histories, mediation, arbitration and consumer protection laws.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711