…is a myth. There is no “buyer’s remorse” law in Ohio, or elsewhere that I could find, that permits a three-day return for vehicles. I am certain that some readers here still do not believe that, which evidences how pervasive this myth is.
One of my favorite quotes on this topic is from an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “If you want to clean up on a bet, ask people if Ohio law gives them three days to cancel a contract to buy a car. So many will wrongly say yes, you could probably fund your retirement with your winnings.” Car dealers can offer this return period on their own, but there is no Ohio law to require it.
Are there any protections for consumers who decide they made a bad purchase, or want to cancel a contract? Yes, there are laws that address bad purchases, hastily-signed contracts, just not for cars. Most “buyer’s remorse” laws permitting cancellation of contracts or purchases relate to high-pressure type situations where sales are made. Think about door-to-door sales, high-pressure telemarketing, etc. To take advantage of Ohio’s “buyer’s remorse” laws below, be sure to know what you are required to do, and by what date you must act.
Here are Ohio’s “buyer’s remorse” laws, permitting the buyer to renege on a purchase or contract:
- Door-to Door Sales: a buyer has three days to cancel any sales made in their home, or anywhere that isn’t the seller’s regular place of business. Did you buy a vacuum cleaner from a salesman who came to your door? Did you buy a hot tub from a seller at the fairgrounds or remodeling show? Then you have three days to cancel your purchase.
- Credit and Debt Counseling Services: you have three days to cancel. The cancellation period begins on the day you sign.
- “Entertainment” Contracts: you have three days to cancel contracts with fitness centers, martial arts, dancing and other lessons, weight loss group programs, dating services, health spas, etc.
- Business Opportunity Plans: you have five days to cancel a business opportunity agreement. The law was put into place to permit you to cancel an agreement where, for example, you agreed to buy, sell or distribute products or services. Note that the law, Ohio’s Business Opportunity Purchasers Protection Act, prohibits sellers from making misrepresentations about the business’s prospects.
- Hearing Aids: Ohio law gives you 30 days to return hearing aids, for any or no reason. The clock starts ticking on the day you receive the hearing aids.
- Telemarketing Sales: you have seven days to cancel a contract for anything bought or contracted for through telemarketing (telephone) sales. There are a few options for when the cancellation period begins: you have seven days to cancel once goods are received or services are agreed to, or seven days to cancel after you sign a written agreement.
Some federal laws provide “buyer’s remorse” law protection, such as a right to cancel home equity and mortgage refinancing contracts within three days of signing, under the federal “Truth in Lending Act.”
Laws providing buyers with a means to escape purchases or contracts require that sellers inform you of these rights, and require certain actions from buyers. Most of these laws require that buyers rescind in writing. Buyers need to rescind in a timely manner, remembering that “days” to cancel are business days that include Saturdays, and exclude Sundays and some federal holidays. Federal holidays listed by the Ohio Attorney General are New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
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