On 1 January 2011 the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) commenced. Amongst other things, the ACL includes a new, national law for unsolicited consumer agreements, which replaces existing State and Territory laws on door-to-door sales and other direct marketing.
Door-to-door sales are only permitted between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Saturday. They are prohibited on Sundays and public holidays. However, a supplier or agent may visit you at any time if the appointment has been made with your consent.
Door-to-door sales must offer a cooling-off period – a set timeframe in which you can return the goods and get your money back if you change your mind.
When the salesperson is selling you the goods, they have to let you know about the cooling-off period, which is normally between 5 to 10 days depending on which state you live. This means the salesperson cannot start work, or if you change your mind they must give back the money you paid for the product, within the cooling-off period. When the new Australian Consumer Law comes fully into effect on 1 January 2012, the cooling off period will be uniform around Australia at 10 business days.
If the door-to-door salesperson doesn’t tell you about the cooling-off period, you are entitled to a longer cooling-off period.
Consumer Affairs Victoria publishes detailed information on its website about:
- Door-to-door sales hours
- Sales agreement requirements
- Cooling off and termination requirements
- If a consumer cools off or terminates
- Supplier responsibility for failing to comply
An easy English version of information about shopping and services is also published by Consumer Affairs Victoria.