No matter how high your electricity bill, there are few things more annoying than the doorbell ringing during dinner and some idiot trying to convince you to change electricity providers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)s takes a dim view of the tactics used by some electricity sellers, and is taking five providers and marketing companies to court over their behaviour.
Companies named by the ACCC in the complaint include electricity suppliers AGL Sales, AGL South Australia and Neighbourhood Energy, and marketing companies CPM Australia and Australian Green Credits. Chief among the complaints from the ACCC is that sellers failed to pay attention to "do not knock" signs placed by consumers to dissuade salespeople:
With the exception of AGL Sales, the ACCC alleges that each of the respondents breached the Australian Consumer Law by failing to immediately leave the premises at the request of an occupier. The ACCC contends that consumers requested the salespeople to leave by placing a 'do not knock' sign on their door.
As well, salespeople are also alleged to have not explained their purpose (selling services) or provided details of who would supply them. Court hearings will occur in May. In the meantime, remember that door-to-door sales are banned outside the hours of 9am to 6pm on weekends, 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, and all day on Sundays. Outside those hours, it's still best to ignore them.