01.Consumers are fed-up with door-knocking
Our friends at the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) have launched a petition calling on the major energy retailers to scrap their invasive door-knocking sales tactics.
The petition is the latest action in their ongoing Do Not Knock campaign.
The petition will be sent to executives at the following retailers:
Personal stories driving action
The petition responds to the growing array of personal stories of unscrupulous practices from door-to-door salespeople. These practices are usually targeted at vulnerable consumers, such as the elderly.
“[M]y 80 year old grandmother…has now been talked into signing up with 4 different power companies since December. All have been dearer than her original company!! She’s now been hit with cancellation fees from these companies,” read one letter to CALC.
CHOICE heard similar stories after conducting consumer research into energy marketing practices last year. Read more about what we found out from consumers.
“Not once have I found anything they [telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople] have provided as useful, clear or easy to understand” said one frustrated consumer to CHOICE. “If ‘this’ comes into play, then ‘that’ may happen, unless of course, ‘something else’ is taking place, in which case — well, you get my drift ”
CHOICE supports CALC’s petition to help end these dodgy sales tactics.
Know your rights
Changes in Australia’s consumer law which came into effect last year have sought to curb invasive door-to-door sales. Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) salespeople are obligated to leave as soon as they are asked.
In response to this, CALC released a ‘Do-Not-Knock'’ sticker for consumers to place on their doors. Current court action by the ACCC will clarify whether these stickers are effective requests to leave under the ACL.
However, there continue to be further developments in this area. For example, Federal Labor MP Steve Georganas, recently introduced legislation to the Federal Parliament calling for the creation of a do-not-knock register. This will function in the same way as the highly successful do-not-call register. The bill is currently before the House of Representatives.
The ACCC has also taken action against several energy retailers and marketing companies which have allegedly made false representations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.
You can keep up to date with all news and progress by signing up to become a CHOICE campaign supporter.