Knock! Knock! Who’s There? Know your rights when a salesperson knocks
Have you ever received a knock at your door from someone hoping to sell you goods or services? According to research commissioned by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, it’s highly likely – on average every Australian household is door knocked eight times a year.
Door to door sales agents come to your home to sell all sorts of goods or services, with the two most common sales being energy or telecommunications products and services. If you are approached by a salesperson at your home, there are laws to protect you – read on to find out more!
Your consumer rights at the door
You have legal rights when dealing with sales agents at your door.
If what’s on offer is valued at over $100 (or the value can’t be determined when the offer is made), the agent must follow rules around:
- How and when they can come knocking
- What information they must give you
- Your right to change your mind
- You also have the right to expect truthful and accurate representations, fair treatment, and that the product or service will do or perform as it should.
The key things to remember are:
- it’s ok to say no – if you are approached at your door, you don’t have to agree to anything
- if you want a door to door sales agent to leave, tell them – they must leave immediately
- you do not have to agree to anything on the spot – if you feel pressured to sign something, tell the sales agent you want time to consider the offer
- if you’re thinking of switching service providers, such as for energy or phone services, contact your current provider to check if there are going to be any cancellation costs
- it’s ok to change your mind – if you agree to buy something but later decide it’s not for you, simply exercise your ‘cooling off’ rights.
Don’t want door-to-door sales people knocking on your door?
Place a prominent sign that states this near your entrance. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has produced a free ‘Do Not Knock’ sticker for this purpose.
Order the sticker and a range of other educational resources by calling the ACCC on 1300 302 502 or visit the ACCC website.
Help and more information
Unfortunately, door to door sales agents have been known to target older Australians and try to unfairly secure a sale. In 2009, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took action against Craftmatic Pty Ltd for unconscionable and misleading conduct towards elderly consumers when selling adjustable beds at the door. More recently, the commission has filed court proceedings against Lux Distributors Pty Ltd, alleging unconscionable conduct in relation to selling at the door vacuum cleaners to five elderly consumers.
If you have a problem with a door to door sales agent, or are not happy with the goods or services, contact your local consumer protection agency or call the ACCC on 1300 302 502.