Contracts at the house door: Language imperfection is often exploited

Salesman often exploit language imperfection and a lack of knowledge.
Haustür Vertreter
Sales representatives take advantage of somebody’s lack of knowledge and linguistic deficits with doorstep selling.

At the front door you do not have the possibility to compare contracts. Some black sheep exploits this fact. It can be that sales representatives ring the bell and want to conclude a contract.

You should be very careful with that: Often these people are skilled sales representatives, who are trained to take advantage of this surprise effect. At the front door you do not have the possibility to compare contracts. You are unprepared and therefore more receptive for the representative’s advertising.

This applies generally for everyone, but especially for refugees, because this business practice already happened at refugee homes. Linguistic difficulties and the inexperience of such local sales pitches are sometimes exploited shamelessly.

You should follow these basic rules in such situations:

  • Never let a sales representative into the flat/ the refugee home/ refugee camp
  • Never pay in advance
  • Never sign something you do not understand
  • If you are uncertain, you should rather not sign

The legal situation

If you have concluded a contract at the front door, the contract is indeed effective, but generally you can revoke the contract. By revocation you are not bound to the contract anymore. For the revocation you have a general time limit of 14 days, from the conclusion of the contract on.

If a product has been purchased, the time limit begins, when the goods have been delivered.

If the consumer was not informed about the revocation, the revocation-right expires not later than 12 months and 14 days.

The revocation has to be declared towards the contracting party - The best is to write a letter, which states, that you are revoking the contract.

It is not enough to just send back the goods. The revocation requires no justification.