When it comes to pushy and fear-mongering peddlers, seniors should lose the “Minnesota Nice” and slam the door.
That’s the counsel from Attorney General Lori Swanson, who offered tips this month for seniors, the frequent targets of high-pressure sales tactics in person and over the phone.

Stoking fear is one of those tactics. Security-system peddlers often talk about a rash of nearby burglaries.

The Minnesota Personal Solicitation of Sales Act requires door-to-door salespeople to say who they are and what they're peddling before they put on the hard sell. Here's the relevant portion of the law:

Before any personal solicitation every seller shall, at the time of initial contact or communication with the potential buyer, clearly and expressly disclose: the individual seller's name, the name of the business firm or organization the seller represents, the identity or kinds of goods or services the seller wishes to demonstrate or sell, and that the seller wishes to demonstrate or sell the identified goods or services. When the initial contact is made in person, the seller shall also show the potential buyer an identification card which clearly states the seller's name and the name of the business or organization represented. The disclosures required by this section shall be made before asking any questions or making any statements except an initial greeting. Nonprofit organizations are exempt from the requirements of this section.

I wonder how many sales reps actually follow the letter of this law.

You also have three days to get your money back from any door-to-door purchase.

Read more about your consumer rights here.


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