A bill before Parliament proposes to establish a Do Not Knock register, allowing people to place their names on a list that would ban door-to-door marketers from approaching their premises.
The proposal is the latest hit at the direct marketing industry, after the Do Not Call register was established in 2006. Several businesses have complained about the cost of adhering to the register’s regulations, while others have been fined for going against it.
The proposed bill would hit the energy and telecommunications industries, both of which vigorously employ door-to-door salespeople.
South Australian federal Labor MP Steve Georganas has given notice of a private member’s bill to establish the register, which would prohibit salespeople from making any sales and marketing calls to addresses on the register.
“The Do Not Call Register has been a very effective way to give every Australian the choice to opt out of telemarketing calls so it makes sense to give people the choice not to be cold-called at their front doors as well,” Georganas, the member for Hindmarsh, said.
“This doesn’t stop the Girl Guides selling biscuits or the Salvation Army conducting their Red Shield Appeal, but it does mean that you won’t be hassled by a sales rep to sign up to a new phone contract or to buy insurance when you’re trying to eat dinner or enjoy your Saturday morning.”
Georganas said constituents had approached him with “enormous bills” after being pressured into signing up with new providers.
“This is about protecting some of the most vulnerable people in the community, such as older people, people who are from non English speaking backgrounds and people with disabilities who often have a tough time saying no to high pressure sales tactics applied by door to door salespeople”.
The Direct Marketing Association told SmartCompany this morning the organisation doesn’t cover door-to-door marketers.
However, energy retailers’ organisation Energy Assured told SmartCompany this morning it had recently developed a code for door-to-door salespeople. The organisation is a collection of the nation’s biggest retailers and is dedicated to “ensure the best practice” of door-to-door salespeople.
SmartCompany also contacted Foxtel, another major company that uses door-to-door marketing, this morning, but a reply was not available prior to publication.
Georganas said addresses on the Do Not Knock register would remain there for three years, after which time they can be renewed.
A number of exemptions are to be included in the bill, including leniencies for charities, religious organisations, political candidates and educational organisations.