Attorney General Mills warns door-to-door meat sales recipe for deception

11 years ago

    AUGUSTA — Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills is warning Mainers about fraudulent door-to-door meat sellers who have been active in the state recently. The sellers claim the meat is left over from a delivery that fell through. They say you can buy the meat at extremely low prices, but the meat turns out to be very expensive and low-quality — and they won’t allow you to cancel.

    Often the scammer tells you a local restaurant “couldn’t take the whole order,” or that a neighbor to whom the meat was to be delivered was not home. Such come-on lines usually are completely false. They just lead you to think you can get a great bargain — if you make a snap decision to buy. That’s a recipe for deception.  Such scam-artists often fail to obtain required licenses, and they often fail to give customers the required written and oral three-day cancellation notices.
    Follow these tips to avoid being cheated by door-to-door meat or food sellers:
    Be wary of door-to-door meat and seafood sellers who stop unannounced. There are some legitimate companies that sell food door to door (especially those that come to deliver orders placed by consumers), but you need to be very careful.
    Shop for the best prices — and focus on price per pound. Don’t be swayed by price-per-serving claims. That’s a meaningless and bogus comparison.
    Insist on written notification of your three-day right to cancel. Maine law gives you three business days to cancel a purchase at your door, and get a full refund.  The law also requires the seller to tell you of this right, and to give you two written notices of the right. Don’t buy from any door-to-door seller who does not give you the proper cancellation notices.
    Licensing is the law. All door-to-door sellers must be licensed or have a permanent place of business in Maine. The seller is required to carry a copy of this license during door-to-door sales. Ask to see a copy of the salesman’s license issued by the Maine State Department of Professional and Financial Regulation and any local permits required by the town. All transactions over $25 require a written receipt with the sellers license number.
    Write down license plate numbers and descriptions. Help law enforcement officials by recording pertinent information about these scam-artists and contacting your local authorities. Some sellers may be wanted in other states or localities.
    Some door-to-door food sellers are legitimate. To check whether complaints have been received against a company — or to report a door-to-door food scam contact the Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-436-2131 or 626-8849 Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – noon and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. or by email at