Agencies warn consumers against dodgy traders
CONSUMER protection agencies across Australia are taking on unscrupulous and manipulative traders as part of a national education campaign encouraging proactive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers.
The ‘It’s ok to walk away’ campaign focuses on arming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers with the confidence to turn down unwanted offers from unscrupulous traders, and in particular, door-to-door traders.
Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer said by raising awareness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers of common high-pressure sales tactics, the campaign would give those consumers the conviction to walk away from unwanted sales situations.
“While high-pressure sales situations can be experienced in a shop, they are more common when sellers make unsolicited contact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers by door-knocking, on the phone, or in a public place,” Mr Bauer said.
“Unscrupulous traders, particularly door-to-door traders in far north Queensland, have in the past targeted indigenous communities, selling everything from training courses the consumers couldn’t access and mobile phone plans in areas with no coverage, to overpriced water coolers and first aid kits.
“Consumers can opt out of both door-to-door and phone approaches by traders.
“Traders approaching houses displaying a Do Not Knock notice or calling a phone number on the Do Not Call Register are committing an offence and should be reported.”
‘Do not knock’ stickers are available for free from the Queensland Office of Fair Trading by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Consumers can register their phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register free of charge at www.donotcall.gov.au.
For more information about the rights of consumers and responsibilities of businesses in door-to-door trading, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.