The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) announced today that it obtained a judgment against JRP International, Inc., dba John Robert Powers, to resolve allegations that the company failed to comply with Hawaii’s door-to-door sales law.
The complaint and judgment filed in Hawaii state court alleges that in October 2012, John Robert Powers, a mainland company, advertised on local radio stations soliciting people to attend a pre-screening talent-search audition being held at a Waikiki hotel. At the conclusion of the audition, parents paid the company substantial sums of monies to have their children attend training classes consisting of five rehearsals and one agent showcase.
OCP’s complaint alleged that the company violated Hawaii’s door-to-door sales law by failing to verbally inform these parents of their right to cancel the contract within three (3) business days of the transaction, and failing to include in its contract the written Notice of Cancellation language as required by HRS §481C-2.
“This action highlights the importance of Hawaii’s door-to-door sales law,” said OCP’s Executive Director Bruce B. Kim.“Consumers should exercise caution before signing contracts at any high-pressure sales event, whether it occurs at your home or in a hotel. Take the time to ask the salesperson to explain your cancellation rights and read the cancellation rights in the contract before signing.”
OCP was awarded $3,800 in restitution on behalf of an injured consumer, along with fines and penalties of $50,000 against the company.
The judgment also included injunctive relief against the company, requiring that it:
- Furnish buyers with a fully completed receipt or copy of a contract pertaining to door-to-door sales, which contains all the information required by law
- Furnish buyers with duplicate copies of the Notice of Cancellation form required by law
- Include any copies of the Notice of Cancellation form, including all information required by law regarding the Notice of Cancellation in the specific format required by law
- Verbally inform each buyer at the time the buyer signs the contract or purchases the goods or services, of the buyer’s right to cancel
- Not misrepresent in any manner the buyer’s right to cancel
- Honor any valid of notice of cancellation by a buyer
- Promptly refund all payments made under the contract or sale after receipt of a timely notice of cancellation.
Consumers and businesses involved in door-to-door type sales as defined in HRS§ 481C-1 are advised that businesses are required to verbally inform consumers of their right to cancel the contract within three (3) business days and must also include in its contract the required Notice of Cancellation language as described in HRS § 481C-2.
A “door-to-door sale” is defined as:
- A sale of goods or services solicited in person and signed by the buyer at a place other than the seller’s business address shown on the contract;
- A sale of goods or services solicited in person or by mail or telephone; or
- A public or private notice or advertisement if the solicitation includes an offer of a gift, prize premiums, stamps, coupons, tickets or other redeemable devices as an inducement for the person solicited or a member of the person’s immediate family to go to the seller’s place of business, whether the buyer signs at the seller’s place of business or elsewhere.
Businesses are advised that failing to comply with the door-to-door sales law may render the contract unenforceable.
Anyone who believes that they may have signed a contract involving a door-to-door type sale, and who believes they were not verbally informed and/or signed a contract that failed to provide the required written notice that they had the right to cancel their contract within three (3) business days of the transaction may file a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection. Information about filing a complaint is available on the OCP’s website at
http://cca.hawaii.gov/ocp/consumer-complaint/or by calling the Consumer Resource Center at 587-4272 on Oahu or toll free from the Neighbor Islands at the following numbers:
- Kauai 274-3141x 74272
- Maui 984-2400 x 74272
- Big Island 974-4000 x 74272
- Molokai &Lanai 1 (800) 468-4644 x 74272