You have rights under the Australian Consumer Law when a salesperson approaches you at your front door, over the phone or in a public place. These protections apply to sales methods that are called ‘unsolicited consumer agreements’.
This type of agreement occurs when:
- it results from negotiations by phone or at a location other than the seller’s place of business, and
- a seller, or their sales agent, approaches or calls you uninvited, and
- the total value is more than $100 (or cannot be determined when the agreement is made).
The most common forms of sales methods that can lead to an unsolicited consumer agreement are:
- door-to-door selling
- being approached by a sales agent in a public place such as a shopping centre.
Unsolicited agreements can also occur if:
- you provide your contact details to a business for one purpose, for example a competition entry, and the seller contacts you for a separate purpose, to sell another product or service to you
- you return a missed call from a seller or respond to any unsuccessful attempt by them to contact you.
Some agreements are not unsolicited consumer agreements, such as:
- business contracts for goods or services not usually for personal, domestic or household use or consumption
- when a seller contacts you and asks if you would like to renew an existing sales agreement such as for a home telephone service
- sales that occur at party plan events, when the host makes it clear that you are invited to the party to be sold something, and at least three people are invited.
A sale made at a kiosk or stall in the public area of a shopping centre is unlikely to be an ‘unsolicited consumer agreement’ when:
- the kiosk or stall is the operator’s business or trade premises
- the salesperson remains within the kiosk or stall.
Donations to charity where no sales are involved are not unsolicited consumer agreements, even when received by a third party or contractor on the charity’s behalf.
For information about your rights see Telemarketing & door-to-door sales.