Consumer Advisory - Consumers should be aware of risk of losing protection under consumer laws if they allow businesses to make home visits in exchange for free or discounted goods/service

From 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2017, CASE handled 117 complaint cases involving door-to-door sales. Of these, around 30% of consumers said that they had accepted the business’s request to visit their homes when they were at a shopping mall, roadshow or trade fair and they were offered some gifts. After receiving permission to visit, the business would take the opportunity to promote their goods or services to the consumer.

CASE is concerned as these consumers may lose their protection under existing consumer laws.

In general, under the Regulation 4 of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Cancellation of Contracts) Regulations 2009 (“Regulations”), consumers have the right to cancel a direct sales contract within five days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays) from the date of signing of the contract provided the visit was unsolicited. An unsolicited visit occurs when the business visits the consumer’s home/workplace without the express request of the consumer. Cancellation of a contract regulated under the Regulations can be effected by delivering a notice of cancellation personally to the business (or the designated person), or sending the notice by pre-paid post or fax.

However, CASE wishes to advise consumers that the above protection may not apply when the business visits at the express request of the consumer. By accepting the business’s request to visit their homes, the visit can no longer be said to be unsolicited.

Hence, CASE wishes to offer the following advice if you have invited the business to visit your home:

  • Verify the legitimacy of the business by asking for their identification documents.
  • Do not be pressured into signing the agreement. You have the right to say ‘no’, and can consider calling the police if the business refuses to leave your home.
  • Get a copy of the sales agreement, which should include the full terms and conditions, breakdown of price, business’s contact information (i.e. business address, email and phone number) and refund policy. Any verbal promises made by the business should be put down in writing.
  • Where possible, you should buy from CaseTrust-Direct Selling Association of Singapore (DSAS) accredited businesses ( as they have committed themselves to fair trading and a seven days cooling-off period for consumers.

We encourage consumers with unresolved disputes against such businesses to approach CASE (hotline: 6100 0315, website: for further assistance.

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