What's the Deal: The 3-day contract

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What's the Deal: The 3-day contract. Watch the report from Nydia Han on Action News at 4:30 p.m. on January 22, 2019.

It happens to the best of us - you agree to buy something and then you regret it. State and federal cooling-off rules could help you but you have to know how to use them.

"He was a wonderful man and then four and a half years ago, they found a spot on his lung," said Bernadette Kohms from Riverton, New Jersey.

Kohms tells Action News the love of her life, her husband, Jack, was diagnosed with lung cancer and as his condition worsened, he needed a stair lift.

So after an in-home meeting with a representative from a local stairlift company, Kohms paid a deposit of $1.800 dollars in cash up front.

"I signed the papers and that was it. That was Wednesday. Sunday is when I couldn't get him up off the floor, it was bad," she said.

Kohms called an ambulance and at the hospital, she learned Jack's cancer had spread.

"So the next day I thought you know what - I don't know if these stairs are going to be a good idea.How long am I going to have my husband? 4:53 I didn't think I was going to have him long..

Kohms says she called to put the stairlift contract on hold on Monday when her 3-business day right to cancel was still in effect.

Then Tuesday, on the 4th business day, she says she called to cancel.

"He says, well, I'm sorry that's a special order, there's nothing I can do," she recalled.

The company has a different story, saying the family didn't ask for a refund until 12 days after the contract was signed.

And here's what you need to know. Whether it was 3 days or 12 - legally, it doesn't matter.

The federal cooling off rule says the cancellation must be in writing and post-marked within three business days of the sale.

" I know that the contract is valid but morally, I think they're wrong," said Kohms.

The federal cooling-off rule is an important tool for consumers, but it does have exceptions.

And be aware - New Jersey law allows consumers to cancel health club memberships and home improvement services contract within 3 business days, too.

Learn more: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0176-buyers-remorse-when-ftcs-cooling-rule-may-help

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