Committee’s rejection of a Do Not Knock register can’t be the end of the debate
The Consumer Action Law Centre, the organisation behind the national ‘Do Not Knock campaign’, says a Federal Parliamentary committee’s rejection of a private members bill designed to establish a do not knock register has heightened the importance of the Do Not Knock sticker and the need for Government and industry to get behind the Do Not Knock campaign.
A survey conducted by Consumer Action late last year found that 56 per cent of shoppers feel the greatest pressure to purchase when visited at home, and 77 per cent of respondents said they disliked door-to-door sales – indicating that the Australian public is tired of persistent doorknockers.
The Committee’s report also highlights the importance of a number of ACCC cases before the Federal Court which will test the legal standing of the Do Not Knock sticker. If the court confirms that the sticker represents a request that a salesperson leave the property and they ignore it, the salesperson could be opening themselves up to significant fines under the Australian Consumer Law.
‘The Committee and industry have both pointed to the sticker as a reason why further protections aren’t needed at this stage, and we’re hopeful that the ACCC’s case will confirm our view of the legal status of the sticker. But, if it doesn’t, the Federal Parliament needs to be willing to revisit this issue and either amend the law to make the sticker legally binding, and reconsider a do not knock register,’ said Gerard Brody, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Consumer Action.
‘The Do Not Knock stickers have been a resounding success but we know from complaints coming through the Do Not Knock website that there are plenty of sellers ignoring them or coming up with excuses as to why the Australian Consumer Law doesn’t apply to them. So if our politicians are going to point to the stickers as a reason why we don’t need further consumer protections, they need to make sure the sticker is adhered to.
‘We’ve sent out tens of thousands of stickers and have research that shows only three percent of Australians have a positive opinion of door-to-door sales, so it’s clear that many Australians are looking for a way to opt out of door-to-door sales. We’re urging all parliamentarians to ensure the rejection of the Do Not Knock Register Bill 2012 isn’t the end of efforts to protect vulnerable consumers from high pressure door-to-door sales,’ said Mr Brody.
Consumers wishing to order a Do Not Knock sticker can do so at www.donotknock.org.au.