Door-To-Door Electricity Sellers Busted For Ignoring 'Do Not Knock' Signs

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.

ACCC


Comments

    At least they have a choice, in my town we have a choice of 'one'...!!

    I get so many so often (I'm in South Eastern Melbourne) that I can pick them easily now, and I blatantly ignore them, ie. my dogs are barking at the door and they can potentially see me seeing who it is through the glass in my front door, but I just don't answer. They get the message quick smart. Easy.

      Since i left school i have been in D2D for quite some time, I have seen the markets change quite considerably. In terms of peoples attitudes of how they greet or treat D2D or telemarketers. You know its kinda funny hearing all the story's from mates around the bbq about how they got called by some dude oversea's or some one knocked on there door and they told them to " Go get F*** and leave them alone. well for starters i think most of these war story's are bull shit have never had some one tell me to F*** off (most likely due to my approach witch is casual and very take it or leave it . How ever There is always good, honest employees or CONTRACTORS more to the point out there than the bad ones. What idiot would be out there pounding the pavement would start pissing off the neighborhood if there is a Sticker or some rant stuck up on the door about how they hate D2d or bible salesman why would you knock it your just bringing on negatives to your day.(mind you most company's these days have a DNC list witch they go through at the start of the day and note them down...... there have been days out there when i have been so focused i forgotten about DNC lists and accidently knocked the door with a sticker....mind you this is years ago and laws are different than now and turns out the person with that sticker thought what i had to offer was fantastic and purchased from my self. I asked why he had a sticker up and he said it was from a previous tenant however had put his own version up at his old house, he said to me that he had a bad experience with a rep from some company thus why he put the sticker out there. Well i dont blame him and thus the dirtiness of this industry has and continues to stink from COWBOY reps who dont understand the concept of conditioning your turf for future visit's and other reps that might be in the area....yeah fair enough no one wants to be bothered at 6 at night if some one comes round then tell them to come back at a better time that suites you if you had any interest of what the rep had to say no one is holding a gun to your head to talk to people i hate being called my self and people knocking on my door due to my own privacy and i understand that. However lets say from example you have a complaint with telstra and are over there high prices and bullshit features and some dude offers you some thing better and have experienced a better customer service than you have revived in the past with telstra (i am betting the d2d rep would bend over backwards for you as a customer more so than any 1 else) well is that awesome some one just knocked on your door and offered to you a better deal without even leaving you front door step mind you after knocking 100 odd doors probably only made him self 100 bucks for the day while his family is at home and missing out on those 6pm dinners well i say humanity is going further up shit creek. people just need to relax a bit and do a bit of fact finding about the industry and realize there is nothing to be worried about KNOW HOW TO SPOT A SCAM, TALK IT THROUGH WITH MATES GOOGLE COMPANY FOR FEED BACK FROM OTHERS LIKE YOUR SELF AND MAKE SURE THE REP HAD THERE FREAKING ID so you KNOW !!!!! oh and @ JAMES I AM WITH DO DO 2 and LOVING IT my advice for any 1 one out there who seriously wants a better deal consider do do, but who knows that next knock at the door could be another company with another market smashing deal that you might miss out on because a pole is jammed so far up your ass you cant have a conversation with some one about who they can lower your costs......if some knocked my door and said they could put 100 dollars in my back pocket by changing company's and showed me how i would change for sure........ that's beers and smokes taken care of for the weekend so would go for it.

    In Victoria, there's really only one provider to go with IMO, and that's Dodo. They are simply the cheapest around, and for the exact same product. I don't really understand why anyone would want to go with the many broker sites or other companies. There's no point!

      You do realise the story is about electricity companies right?

        Yes? http://www.dodo.com/electricity/quick-links/about-dodo-power-gas/

      Don't like the idea of having a contract to get electricity though............

        I'm on a 3 year contract I think it is. That way I get 20% pay on time discount. The cost to break the contract, if there happened to be anyone cheaper, is $20. I save a lot more than that each quarter from my previous provider (AGL), and that was also one of the cheapest before Dodo came along.

    Awesome, I didn't even know about these stickers. Just ordered some for free from donotknock.org.au

      Me too. Energy Australia has tried to trick me into switching to them for the last time.

    What pisses me off about this law is that if you're a customer of a company and they hand out your details to a 3rd party who is doing market research for them, then that mark research company can make your life hell by calling you with every new offer. The last time this happened they said to put my number on the do not call registry.. but it's already a private business number.. and the one I gave my provider as a day time contact. However they are covered by this law as I am already a customer of theirs.. so it gives them the right to spam me.. stupid!

      You can actually call your provider and ask to be removed from their marketing campaign list.
      Just like you can "unsubscribe" from marketing material at your bank, you can do it anywhere you are a customer (gas, electricity, water, frequent flyer etc).
      If they don't remove you after that, you then go to the ombudsman.

    I'm happy to know that "Do not knock" sticker I've got on my door actually has something to back it up other than me getting angry.

    "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." I assume you meant weekdays, not weekends?

    So, does this mean it's legal for them to come around and knock on our door after 6pm on a weekday? I would've thought that would be more annoying than them trying to sell me stuff when I'm not home to listen to them.

    Easy fixed..
    Step 1 Open door to see who it is.
    Step 2 In a nice clear loud voice use the phrase " Piss off I'm eating my dinner." or just plain "Piss off!"
    Step 3 Slam door in there face before they can respond.
    Sorted...

      I had a guy put his foot in the door to try and stop me from closing the door... needless to say the yelp I got as he pulled his foot out of the way of a solid-core door flying at his foot was music to my ears.

      I am a door to door sales man. I am doing this job for nearly 4 years now.
      Its very easy to sign up stupids like some who has made some foolish comments but in fact I don't waste my time to do so. I have saved 1000s of dollars of lot of my customers. Even a few of my customers still call me to get an advise and they are never disappointed. So door to door sales people does lots of positive things and may be just a few bad things. I personally hate few of my colleagues but 9 out of 10 sales people I know do right things.

    I treat it as a fun game, i like to talk them in circles or berrate their limited knowledge of the infrastructure they are trying to sell, working with HV switch gear and communications architecture means i know some nice big specific words. What annoys me though is when they blatantly lie, telstra are terrible for this, knocking on my door offering "better speeds" when i have had their techs check over my line and not be able to do anything so unless they have a magic switch that improves my 55+ year old copper than they should stop lying to me and my less techie neighbors.

    Doorknockers are people too! They don't want to be there, but they have to sell things to get money to do what they're interrupting you from. Hell, I had to sell real estate and I had no idea what was going on there. It's just knock on the door, recite the script and hope you don't get threatened with physical violence.

    Once apon a time I worked for Australian Green credits in the Neighbourhood Energy campaign, I remember my managers telling me to not worry about the do not knock stickets (even though in meetings we would go over consumer law and be told not to knock on those doors)
    In fact we were told that those doors were the best because not as many people knock on them.

    Well, its fair to say that company was a little bit dodgy few months later the company was told off to stop doing it but just from my time there, so many dodgy things going on and observing countless bills and meeting people who are suffering because of our silly electricity market made me unable to do my job.

    I felt guilty knowing that I was signing them up for commission but I had my pay messed up so badly I was desperate to get by just to survive (N)

    I know this article is about electricity companies, but Foxtel drive me insane. Call them once from your home number and they will ring you every 3 months forever. They always start with; "We got a call from this number about Foxtel and we where just wondering if we could help you". Sigh

    What annoys me most about these people (and I work in the industry so their lack of knowledge is annoying) is their refusal to explain what they are trying to do from the get go. As soon as they say who they are, I know what they want - to sign me up so they get their commission. But they refuse to say they are there to sell. They talk in circles trying to avoid saying that, saying things like "here to check your tariff". Obviously this tactic is used to fool people that something "official" is going on. I used to amuse myself by confusing them by exposing their lack of knowledge, but now I just say "no thanks" and close the door in their face.

    Does this mean the "Aust Post Only" signs are enforceable also?

    When you're a door-to-door, you don't really care about what the law says -- it's up to your employer to obey bigger laws, you just follow the same ones every citizen follows. And if a signup gets you a little more in your paycheck each week, what's stopping you from ignoring the sign?

    I haven't had a door-to-door salesman arrive for a long time, even without a "Do not knock" sign, so all is good here.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    I think it a shame. Door knocker are people too. I have Worked at Telefieldsales/ Australian Green Credit for awhile. These guys are the biggest bullshit. Owned by a fucking Indian cunt and manage by Aussie CEO. Asic should cancel their registration. Biggest dodgiest cunts. They should be sued. Fucker didn't pay my wages. I have already launched a complaint against these assholes. They are the biggest fraud. There should be an independent audit against them.

    Alan

      you are 100% right...australian green credit is fucking bad company.......i also have really bad experience

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