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The Fair Trading Act has specific rules for uninvited direct sale agreements, including rules about the information the salesperson must give you, rules that give you time to change your mind, and rules about what happens when you cancel.

Read more about the Fair Trading Act.

What is an uninvited direct sale?

An uninvited direct sale is when:

  • a business, or their agent, approaches you at your home, workplace, or over the phone, to sell goods or services
  • you have not invited them to come to your house or to call you in order to buy goods or services
  • the sale agreement is for goods or services costing $100 or more (or an uncertain price at the time the goods are supplied to you).

and includes when:

  • you provide your contact details to a business for one purpose (such as a competition entry) and the business then contacts you in order to sell goods or services, or
  • you respond to an unsuccessful attempt by a business to contact you (such as returning a missed call or responding to a calling card).

What you need to know

  • You don’t have to buy goods or services you haven’t asked for – you have the right to say no.
  • If you don’t fully understand what the salesperson is proposing or feel pressured, don’t agree to anything, don't sign anything and don’t give the salesperson your name or other personal details.
  • Before you enter any agreement, the salesperson must tell you about your right to cancel and details of how to cancel.
  • You should get a copy of the sales agreement immediately after you sign it if the sale is made door-to-door or within 5 days if you agree to buy over the phone.
  • If you do purchase something, you can change your mind and cancel the agreement for any reason for up to 5 working days of receiving a written copy of the agreement.
  • If you haven't received a copy of the agreement you can cancel at any time.
  • If the agreement does not contain all the necessary information or you haven't been told about your cancellation rights then the supplier may not be able to enforce the agreement.
  • If you cancel the agreement, the supplier must immediately refund you any money you’ve already paid.
  • If you do cancel the agreement you must take reasonable care of the goods for 10 working days from the date that you cancelled. Once you have received any refund you are entitled to, you must allow the supplier to collect the goods at any reasonable time that they request.
  • Any services the supplier provides you within the 5 day cancellation period are done at their own risk – you still have the right to cancel and pay nothing.

Read more about uninvited direct selling.

Example:

A salesperson knocks on Ari's front door and offers a deal on a vacuum cleaner. After a demonstration, they negotiate a sale. The supplier provides Ari with a written copy of the sales agreement that specifies a price of $49 for the vacuum cleaner. The agreement fails to state that the $49 is only a deposit and the total price for the vacuum cleaner is $299. This agreement would not comply with the information disclosure requirements as it failed to specify the total price payable for the goods under the contract. The agreement would not be enforceable and Ari could cancel at any time.

Getting help

If you think a business has not met their obligations during an uninvited direct sale, you can report them to us. You can also take your own legal action under the Fair Trading Act.

You can make a complaint to us if you think a business has not met their obligations.

The Commission’s role

We enforce the Fair Trading Act which provides consumers with rights relating to uninvited direct sales. We can investigate a business and take enforcement action where there are allegations of a breach of the Act.

Read more about our role.

Read more about door-to-door and telemarketing sales PDF (358 KB)