Right to Cancel
Iowa law does not generally provide consumers with a right to cancel a consumer contract. Most notably, you do not have the right to cancel your purchase or contract of a vehicle from a dealer’s lot.
However, the law allows for several exceptions.
While this list may not include all exceptions, here are some more common exceptions under Iowa law that provide consumers with a right to cancel:
- Door-to-Door Sales: You have the right to cancel most transactions of $25 or more at your home or workplace within three business days so long as the transactions cover goods or services that are purchased, leased or rented primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. You may cancel for any reason or no reason at all. In Iowa, the right to cancel also covers sales at any temporary place other than the seller’s normal place of business, including a rented hotel, convention facility, warehouse or fairgrounds, and sales by people who approach you in public places. The seller must tell you of your right to cancel and provide you written notice. If the seller does not provide you with a written notice of your right to cancel in the manner required by law, you can cancel until three business days after receiving the notice. If you properly cancel, the seller must refund your money. This right to cancel does not apply to sales conducted entirely by telephone or mail, requests for in-home repairs to personal property, and certain “emergency” purchases where you waive your right to cancel in writing.
- Buying Clubs: The same right to cancel door-to-door sales applies to buying club memberships. Buying clubs offer memberships or certificates entitling the holder to purchase discounted goods or services.
- Funeral Services: The same right to cancel sales applies to the sale of funeral services and funeral merchandise even if made at the seller’s place of business.
- Social Referral Services: The same right to cancel applies to the sale of social referral services even if the sale was made at the seller’s place of business. Social referral services (also known as dating services) charge a fee for providing matching or introduction of individuals for the purpose of dating, matrimony or general social contact not otherwise prohibited by law.
- Business Opportunities: The same right to cancel applies to the sale of a business opportunity even if the sale was made at the seller’s place of business. A business opportunity is a contract in which the purchaser provides an initial investment exceeding $500. In exchange, the seller agrees that the seller or a person designated by the seller will provide any products, equipment, supplies, materials or services needed for the purchaser to start the business; as well as provide one of six other promises or guarantees specifically spelled out under Iowa law.
- Membership Campground Contracts: The purchaser of a membership camping contract may cancel the contract within three business days even if the sale was made at the seller’s place of business. A membership camping contract gives the purchaser the right to use a campground of a membership campground operator for more than 30 days during the term of the agreement.
- Exercise Clubs: The purchaser of a physical exercise contract may cancel the contract within three business days even if the sale was made at the seller’s place of business. The cancelling purchaser is entitled to a full refund, less twenty dollars. A physical exercise club offers services and/or facilities for the preservation, maintenance, encouragement, or development of physical fitness or well-being in return for the payment of a fee entitling the buyer to use the services or facilities. Examples of physical exercise clubs include health clubs, sports and health clubs, tennis clubs, racquetball courts, golf clubs, gymnasiums, figure salons, health studios, weight control studios and martial arts schools.
- Time Shares: The purchaser of a time share may cancel the contract within five business days after the seller delivers a written statement containing required disclosures concerning assets and liabilities of the time share estate as well as details of the exchange program, even if the sale was made at the seller’s place of business.
888-777-4590 (outside of the Des Moines metro area)
Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
Consumer Protection Division
Hoover State Office Building
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0106