ACCC warns Australians to be wary of door to door salesmen

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a new report into the growing door to door sales industry and put forth a number of suggestions as to how people can avoid being pressured into making a hasty decision.

According to an ACCC press release issued August 17, the energy industry is one of the four biggest users of door to door sales tactics, alongside telecommunications, solar panels and pay TV.

In 2011 more than 1.3 million sales were made through door to door marketing techniques, the vast majority of which - approximately one million - were related to energy services.

However the ACCC is concerned that too many of those sales were made through unscrupulous tactics such as dishonesty and coercion.

"Every household in Australia is door knocked on average eight times a year and this report confirms the ACCC's concerns about widespread, unscrupulous industry practices," said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

According to Mr Sims, people who are approached by door to door salesmen representing electricity suppliers should take their time and consider all the options before committing to anything.

"You do not have to agree to anything on the spot, and if you do you can change your mind and cancel the contract during the cooling off period," said Mr Sims. 

An electricity comparison check is a good way to assess your options in your own time without the pressure of a pushy salesman leaning over your shoulder.

More information on your rights as a consumer when approached by a door to door salesman is available in the Knock! Knock! Who's There? guide, available on the ACCC website.

Posted by Charlie Moore