DO NOT KNOCK CAMPAIGN
How To Get Rid Of Door To Door Salespeople
Want to get rid of the annoying salesperson at the door? Feel awkward about telling someone to buzz off? Don’t want any unauthorised visitors.
Following the success of the Do Not Call Register, the national Do Not Knock campaign, aims to put a stop to unwelcome, dishonest and intimidating door-to-door salespeople. The campaign was launched by the Consumer Action Law Centre and Financial Counselling Australia in October 2011.
The centrepiece of the campaign is the Do Not Knock sticker which, when displayed in a prominent location, sends a clear message to salespeople – ‘you’re not welcome at this address.’
But for those who are a little more inquisitive, here is some background on why the sticker makes it ‘unlawful’ for salespeople to knock on your door.
The short version: A salesperson who ignores your do not knock sticker is committing trespass.
The longer version: Trespass involves deliberately or carelessly doing something that directly causes interference with someone else’s land – The most common example is when you go onto someone else’s land without their permission.
In day-to-day life, there’s an implied licence that allows salespeople to enter public parts of your property, such as the driveway or path—so walking to your door doesn’t amount to trespass on its own.
However, back in 1984, the High Court decided that the implied licence will only exist if “there is no notice or other indication that entry by visitors generally or particularly designated visitors is forbidden or unauthorised”, and that a simple keep out sign is enough to void this implied licence.
Basically, people can knock on your door unless you’ve displayed a keep out sign. Based on this finding, there’s a very good argument that ignoring a Do Not Knock sticker amounts to unlawful trespass.
Want to know more?
There are a few other laws which are relevant to door-to-door salespeople which you may be interested in …
Energy-specific marketing regulation
Things are a little more straight-forward when it comes to energy salespeople – in most states at least.
Rule 66 of the new National Energy Retail Rules reads:
In carrying out energy marketing activities a retail marketer must comply with any signs at a person’s premises indicating—
(a) canvassing is not permitted at the premises; or
(b) no advertising or similar material is to be left at the premises or in a letterbox or other receptacle at or associated with the premises.
From July 2012, this is likely to apply in all states and territories except Western Australia and Northern Territory, who have not signed up to the national energy laws, preferring their state equivalents.
If this section is breached, consumers should make a complaint to the relevant energy ombudsman.
Australian Consumer Law
Australia’s new consumer law doesn’t go as far as to make door-knocking illegal, even if there’s a sticker.
However, under the Australian Consumer Law a salesperson must leave the premises immediately on the request of:
(a) the occupier of the premises, or any person acting with the actual or apparent authority of the occupier; or
(b) the person (the prospective consumer) with whom the negotiations are being conducted.
Failing to comply with requirements can lead to maximum civil and criminal penalties of $50,000 for a body corporate and $10,000 for an individual.
Basically, under consumer law, if you ask a salesperson to leave and they don’t do so immediately, they could be hit with a really big fine.
Here’s how you can get a sticker:
• visit www.donotknock.org.au/take-action/get-the-sticker-2/ and order one online, or print out your own sticker from the website.
• Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Do Not Knock, PO Box 16193, Collins Street West VIC 8007
• The APSL office will also try and get a supply of stickers to supply to interested branches and individuals. Please contact if you would like some.