The Real Scoop on 3-Day Contract Cancellation Rights

by Chris Bjorklund

In 1974, a law was passed to protect California consumers who were pressured into signing contracts with pushy and unrelenting salespeople. The 3-day “cooling off” period allows you to cancel some contracts signed in California by midnight of the third business day. According to Laurel Pallock from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Mediation Unit, “This has to be in writing in the contract and explained to you in advance of signing. You just tear off the form and send it back to the company, saying you want out.” 

Here are some types of contracts covered by the law: dental services, job listing services, home solicitation sales, employment counseling services, home improvement agreements, discount buying services, dating services and door-to-door sales contracts. Note that there is no statutory cancellation period for automobile sales or leases. Learn more about your cancellation rights at the Department of Consumer Affairs website.

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