ACCC: Door-To-Door Salespeople Still Suck

ACCC: Door-To-Door Salespeople Still Suck

Few things suck more than someone trying to persuade you to change electricity supplier while you’re cooking dinner. A new study by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission highlights that despite the hassle, door-to-door selling is big business: the average household gets eight calls a year.

Picture by Cristiano Betta

There were 1.3 million sales through doorknocking last year, with the vast majority (1 million) relating to energy. The most disturbing aspect of the ACCC report is the shonky tactics used by some sellers. The one I find really detestable? Salespeople claiming they’re looking for a lost dog as a pretext for getting into the house.

Under Australian Consumer Law All door-to-door salespeople must adhere to fixed hours: no calls before 9am or after 6pm on weekdays, before 9am or after 5pm on Saturdays, or at any time on Sundays or public holidays. They must provide a clear written statement outlining the total cost of any deal before you sign, and also clearly identify the cooling-off period (a minimum of 10 days) and any termination conditions. If you tell someone to leave, they must not return for 30 days.

My advice? Keep it simple. Say “I’m not interested” and shut the door. If you do want to change energy suppliers, you need to shop around carefully, not sign up through someone desperate to score a commission.



  • If the last 3 that came to our front door were anything to go by, actually being able to speak passable English would go a long way towards getting their sales speil understood.

    • Hmm… Does having the sticker on the door (a deterrent, I admit) actually make it “unlawful” for a sales person to knock anyway (at their peril).
      The ACCC laws (stated in the article) seem to indicate that a person can make these calls regardless of the sticker you have on your door/gate.

      Can anyone confirm this?

      Would that, in fact, make the sticker more “unlawful” than the door knocking?

      • used to work as a door to door salesman for an energy company. if we knock on a door with a do not knock sticker and a complaint is made about us we face a $10,000 fine

  • No 1 reason not to agree to purchase over the phone, or at your doorstep: if it becomes unprofitable, companies will no longer do it. Let’s make it unprofitable.

  • The last salesman that I said “I’m not inerested” to, replied “how do you know you are not interested”, my next few words contained the subject matter of sex and travel.

  • The last time my wife said we were not interested to a door-to-door salesman, they started to verbally abuse her saying she was “Stupid to not switch.” I eventually had to be called out to the door to tell them to F— of and even after seeing my 6ft, 300 lb built-like-a-linebacker ass come to the door, they still were throwing the verbal abuse at her.

    And these weren’t the foreign speaking salesmen either. They were bred right here in Australia blokes. I could still hear them cursing at us even with the door shut and they were walking to the my neighbour’s flat. She was literally in tears after the whole incident and that night a sign went on the door to say “If you’re from an electric company, piss off.”

    These guys prey on the stay at home moms and elderly hoping that their bullying tactics will be enough to get them that commision. Vultures – the whole lot of them. If only the ACCC had the teeth to implement a Do Not Knock list like we have with telemarketers and the Do Not Call list.

  • Whenever I tell people I’m not interested, 9 times out of 10, they won’t leave. They say “Why?”, “Are you stupid, this is a good deal”, “You don’t want to save money” – no matter what I say. They keep refusing to leave.

    And will these stickers include charities, which the Do Not Call register excudes?

  • “Hi, we’re here about the gas. you’ve popped up on our system to let us know that you’re not getting the discount you should be for this area.”
    “So what you’re going to need to do is to bring us a gas bill- any one will do, so we can see exactly how much you could be saving.”
    “right. First of all, can you tell me which gas company we’re with”
    *flash of panic in eyes but quickly suppressed*
    “Well, you’ve popped up on our system”
    “no, tell me which gas company we’re with”
    “thanks but no thanks guys have a good night” *close door*

  • most of these energy companies pay a commission to the third party sales company…such as the door knocking mob and the compare sites. The reason they (sales company) wont go out of business is that most of the salespeople are on full commission. no base. they are fed some rubbish about how many connections they need to make and how easy its to make good money. they all fall for it. open the papers and see how many jobs there are there for these roles. these roles tend to be filled by international students with average english. they dont know any better.

    • They have a huge turnover of staff. A friend of mine took a door-knocking job selling Foxtel out of desperation a year ago after being made redundant 3 months earlier and not finding another job. They have a massive turnover of staff. He hated it, and management was very forceful into pressuring them to do anything it takes to get a sale. Don’t know if it was all Salmat’s doing or if Foxtel was pressuring the company to get more sales, as Foxtel are struggling to increase their market share.

  • I used to work at Origin Energy in their inbound call centre for electricity enquiries. Each shift, I would receive at least one phone call with a customer asking “I have someone at my front door from AGL saying that Origin and AGL have now merged and I need to sign some paperwork, is this true?”

  • Anyone entering your property, whether they be sales-people or other members of the community have an assumed right to enter your property until such time that assumption is revoked.

    “All assumed entry to this property has been revoked” removes such assumption, by law, regardless of what Federal Government department states about lawful hours of operation. If this statement is breached, then call the police and have them charged for trespass.

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