(a) It is unlawful for any person to solicit a sale or order for sale of goods or services at the residence of a prospective buyer, in person or by means of telephone, without clearly, affirmatively and expressly revealing at the time the person initially contacts the prospective buyer, and before making any other statement, except a greeting, or asking the prospective buyer any other questions, that the purpose of the contact is to effect a sale, by doing all of the following:
(1) Stating the identity of the person making the solicitation.
(2) Stating the trade name of the person represented by the person making the solicitation.
(3) Stating the kind of goods or services being offered for sale.
(4) And, in the case of an “in person” contact, the person making the solicitation shall, in addition to meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2) and (3), show or display identification which states the information required by paragraphs (1) and (2) as well as the address of the place of business of one of such persons so identified.
(b) It is unlawful for any person, in soliciting a sale or order for the sale of goods or services at the residence of a prospective buyer, in person or by telephone, to use any plan, scheme, or ruse which misrepresents his true status or mission for the purpose of making such sale or order for the sale of goods or services.
(c) In addition to any other penalties or remedies applicable to violations of this section, the intentional violation of this section shall entitle persons bound to a contract, when there was a sales approach or presentation or both in which such intentional violation of this section took place, to damages of two times the amount of the sale price or up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250), whichever is greater, but in no case shall such damages be less than fifty dollars ($50); provided, however, that as a condition precedent to instituting such action hereunder against the person represented by the person making the solicitation, the aggrieved party shall, in writing, demand that the person represented by the solicitor terminate such contract and return any and all payments made thereunder, and that the person represented by the solicitor shall have refused within a reasonable time, such termination and return. If the person represented by the person making the solicitation elects to terminate, he shall return to the aggrieved party payments received for any and all goods, and for services not rendered, and upon return of such payments, the aggrieved party shall return any and all goods received under the contract. For the purposes of this section, a reasonable time shall mean 20 business days from the date of demand. This subdivision shall not apply to a cause of action commenced under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, a cause of action commenced pursuant to Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure or Section 1781 of the Civil Code.
Any rights under this subdivision shall be waived if subsequent to the signing of the contract the party bound by the contract states that identification, as required by this section, was given.
(d) Persons represented by the person making the solicitation shall keep and maintain copies of all demands for termination for violation of this section for a period of one year from date of receipt. Failure to maintain such records shall create a presumption affecting the burden of proof that demand for termination had been properly made.
(e) Where any provision of law provides a penalty for the violation of any offense specified in this section, it shall be a defense to the imposition of such penalty as to any defendant who did not commit the act or acts constituting the offense that such defendant did not know, and with the exercise of reasonable care could not have known, that the act was committed, which constitutes the violation of this section.
(f) As used in this section “person” includes any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association or other organization, but does not include any nonprofit charitable organization, or any person selling any intangibles, or any items defined in Section 1590(a)(1), of Title 18 of the California Administrative Code as it read on July 15, 1972.
(g) This section shall not prohibit nor authorize the enactment by the governing body of any city, county, or city and county, of ordinances relating to home solicitations which are more restrictive of such solicitation than the provisions of this section.
(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 343.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018