News release from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office:
State lawsuit targets door-to-door frozen meat sales company
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a lawsuit in Allen County against door-to-door meat sales company Country Choice, Inc.
According to the lawsuit, four Indiana customers purchased frozen meat products ranging in price from $373 to $399, but were unable to cancel their transactions within the three-day time period allowed under Indiana law.
“Door-to-door sales can put consumers in high pressure situations and lead to buyers’ remorse after the transaction,” Zoeller said. “While a sale is typically considered final immediately the law provides an exception for those sales occurring in your home. It’s important for consumers to know and understand their rights before answering the knock at the door. This lawsuit highlights our efforts to stop unscrupulous businesses that intentionally disregard the law to rip off their customers.”
One Country Choice customer purchased a case of beef for $399 and the next day sent a certified letter to the company requesting cancellation, but received no response. According to the complaint, Country Choice failed to provide the consumer with information regarding the right to cancel and did not honor its one-year satisfaction guarantee.
Zoeller said state law requires these types of door-to-door sales companies to give customers two copies of their cancellation rights and provide the deadline to cancel. Consumers have a right to cancel if they give written notice by mail or in person within three days of the purchase. Sellers are also required to return any customer payment within 10 business days of receiving cancellation notice.
A separate customer purchased $399 in meat products, but was unable to cancel the transaction even though the receipt noted the three-day cancellation period. The victim said a company representative called and promised to pick up the meat but failed to do so.
The Michigan-based company is accused of violating the Home Solicitations Sales Act, a 2009 settlement with the Attorney General’s Office and the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. The state seeks restitution for consumers, attorney costs and civil penalties.
Zoeller said unscrupulous sellers may tell consumers they will give them time to cancel to allow more time to fully try out their product. Then, if the customer tries to cancel at a later date, they may claim the time to cancel has passed. Zoeller said any promises of an extended cancellation period should be obtained in writing.
To file a consumer complaint with the Attorney General’s Office or find out more about canceling a contract visit www.indianaconsumer.com or call 1-800-382-5516.