I bought something by telephone. Can I cancel the order or return it?

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Businesses that take orders for goods or services over the telephone have to follow certain rules. If they don't, the law gives you the right to cancel your order in some situations.

These rules apply only if the total price is more than $50, not including taxes. And either you or the seller must be in Ontario when you make your order.

The rules talk about an “agreement” you make with the seller. When you order something on the phone, the law says you have made an agreement or contract with the seller.

Usually you make the agreement when you take the final step that lets the seller charge your credit card or other form of payment.

Rules for telephone sellers

Here are some of the main rules that sellers must follow when they take orders by phone.

  • Before you make the agreement, the seller must give you detailed information such as who you are buying from, what you are getting, when it will be delivered, and how much you have to pay.
  • The seller must give you a copy of the agreement, containing all the required information, within 30 days after they bill you, or within 60 days after you made the agreement, whichever is sooner.
  • The seller must deliver the goods or start the services no more than 30 days late.
  • The seller is not allowed to use “unfair practices” to convince you to buy their product or service. This includes making false statements or taking unfair advantage of your situation.

You may also have legal rights beyond what is covered by these rules. For example, you might be able to sue the seller if you receive something that is very poor quality or very different from what the seller said it would be. See Step 5.

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