Rights and protection

Door-to-door sales and telemarketing

If you decide to buy from a salesperson who contacts you unexpectedly, then you are entering into an 'unsolicited agreement'. In these circumstances, where you may be caught off guard, there are extra protections for you.

Unsolicited agreements

An unsolicited agreement is when:

  • a salesperson approaches or telephones you without you inviting that contact
  • negotiations take place over the phone or at a location other than the suppliers premises
  • the total value of the agreement is more than $100, or the value was not established when the agreement was made.

If you enter into an unsolicited agreement, it must be put in writing. This applies to both door-to-door sales and telemarketers.

Know your rights

Traders must not contact you:

  • on a public holiday
  • on weekdays, before 9.00 am or after 6.00 pm (8.00 pm for telemarketing)
  • on a Saturday before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm.

These hours apply to both telemarketing and door-to-door sales, regardless of the sale value.

Door-to-door traders must:

  • explain up-front the purpose of their visit and show you some identification
  • inform you that you can ask them to leave at any time
  • give you written information about your cooling-off rights.

Telemarketers must:

  • explain upfront the purpose of their call
  • send you written information about your cooling-off rights.

Cooling off rights

If a trader contacts you without your invitation (unsolicited contact), and you agree to purchase items or services from them, you have 10 business days during which time you can change your mind and cancel the contract without penalty. The 10-day cooling-off period begins the first business day after you receive the written agreement. A trader must not provide any goods or services, or accept any payment, during the cooling-off period.

The cooling-off period can be longer if the salesperson does not meet certain requirements - eg if the salesperson does not provide you with information about your cooling-off rights.

Before signing an unsolicited agreement you should:

  • take the time to think about the offer
  • compare prices and quality of other similar goods or services to make sure you're getting a good deal
  • think about all costs involved, especially if you're thinking of getting credit to pay for the goods or services
  • carefully read the contract and cooling-off information.

Stopping sales people knocking on your front door

If you do not want door-to-door sales people knocking on your door, you can display a 'do not knock' sticker at your front door. Stickers are available free through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website.

Stopping telemarketers calling you

To stop telemarketers calling you, use the Do-Not-Call Register:

Some groups are exempt from the Do-Not-Call Register and can still contact you. These include charities, research companies, political parties and educational institutions.

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Page last updated 29 November 2016

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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