Knock knock “Would you like to buy something today?”
When a salesman knocks on your door, your natural instinct is probably to be polite, but really, you may just want them to go away. You may also be concerned that if you don’t do what they want, they know where you live.
The Australian Consumer Law regulates how and when salespeople can visit your home with unsolicited offers. Door-to-door salespeople must also give you certain information about your rights.
When can salespeople visit your home?
Salespeople can knock on your door between 9am and 6pm on weekdays and between 9am and 5pm on Saturdays. They cannot visit you outside these times, or on Sundays or public holidays.
You have no obligation to answer the door or engage in any conversation with them. If you wish the salesperson to leave, you can ask them to do so. If the salesperson refuses to leave, he or she is committing a trespass and you would be justified in calling the police.
Do not admit a door-to-door salesperson into your house, particularly if you are elderly or if you live alone. You may become the unwitting victim of a home invasion
If you want to engage with an unknown and unexpected visitor, you would be wise to do so through a locked security mesh door.
What information must salespeople provide?
Salespeople must tell you:
- that you can ask them to leave;
- their name, the organisation they work for and its address and the purpose of their visit; and
- about your cooling-off rights.
If you agree to buy something, the salesperson must give you an agreement in plain English that sets out the full terms and conditions and the total price payable.
Generally, you may cancel a door-to-door sales agreement. You must notify the seller (verbally or in writing) that you are cancelling the agreement within 10 business days. The salesman is obliged not to try to convince you to waive your cancellation rights.
If you have already received the goods, you must make them available for collection within a reasonable time.
Until the cooling-off period has expired, a salesperson must not:
- accept any payment from you;
- give to you goods that cost more than $500; or
- supply any services to you.
Can I stop them from coming in my house?
Yes. If you tell a salesman to leave, they cannot return to your house for 30 days. You can also put a “Do Not Knock” sign on your front door.
For more information, visit the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission website.