“I bought a car at a car dealership over the weekend. Do I have three days to take it back if I don’t want it? I think I made a mistake.” I found this message in my voicemail when I arrived this morning. Unfortunately, no, there is no three day right to cancel in this case. Going back in time, the most common use of the three day right was to cancel the door-to-door vacuum cleaner purchase. You could buy it on a Saturday from the friendly vacuum sales person, vacuum all of your carpets on Sunday and then return the beast on Monday. Cancellation of a door-to-door sale is the classic use of this right and still may be its most common use, although I don’t think I’ve seen a door-to-door vacuum cleaner sale in more years than I care to admit to. You are best off to take your time when deciding to buy some great gadget, service or device, but you may find a little relief in the various state statutes that grant us all a cooling off period.
Along with door-to-door sales, the right to cancel biggies are cancellation of a health club contract (see RCW 19.142), returning of a hearing aid (RCW 18.35), and the purchase of a timeshare (RCW 64.36). More often than not, when you buy something, you are just stuck. The Washington Attorney General has a good resource about cancellation rights at http://www.atg.wa.gov/ConsumerIssues/CancellationRights.aspx#DoorToDoorSales.