Texas Law on Buyer's Remorse

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Chapter 39 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code prohibits “buyer’s remorse” refunds in all but a handful of circumstances. Retailers such as automobile salesmen and store merchants are not obligated to let you out of a contract or return your money if you change your mind about buying a product. Texas’s laws regarding a consumer’s right of rescission generally only pertain to door-to-door salesmen. If someone knocks on your door and sells you something, the law protects you if you act quickly.

Right of Rescission

  • Texas allows you a three-day period during which you can change your mind if a merchant sells you something in a location other than his place of business. This does not necessarily mean he has to come to your home. If you buy something at a convention center or flea market, this usually qualifies as well. You literally have until the stroke of midnight on the third business day to act. The vendor or merchant must give you a “notice of cancellation” when you buy merchandise from him, notifying you of your right to rescind the deal within three business days.

Exceptions

  • Chapter 39 doesn't apply to merchandise you buy for less than $25. It also doesn't protect you if you bought insurance or farm equipment, no matter where the transaction took place. Also, if you begin negotiations for the merchandise at the seller's place of business, then conclude the deal elsewhere, this disqualifies you from changing your mind. Chapter 39 also does not apply to purchases made by telephone, the Internet or the postal service.

Electric Providers

  • The Public Utility Commission of Texas protects you against “slamming” by retail electric providers in separate legislation. Slamming involves the practice of one REP or retail electric provider canceling your account with your existing REP and switching your service to their own company without your consent or authorization. If this happens to you, you can break your contract with the new REP with no fees or penalties, but you have to take action within three business days. This protection doesn’t apply, however, when you’re moving and establishing electric service in a new location or if your existing electric account was terminated because you didn’t pay your bill. The transfer of service must also happen because of actions taken by the new REP, not your old one.

Tips

  • If you want to change your mind about a purchase under Chapter 39, sign and date the notice of cancellation given to you by the seller and send it back to her within three days. It’s a two-part form. Send the seller the top copy and keep the bottom one for your records. The seller then has 10 business days to refund your money back and return any contract you might have signed, as well as any trade-in items you might have given her. She must also notify you if she wants her merchandise back. If she does, she has to get it from you. You’re not under any obligation to go out of your way to return it to her, and even if she shows up looking for it, you don’t have to give it to her until you’ve gotten your money and your signed contract back.

References

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