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Telemarketers can only call between:
- 9:00 am and 8:00 pm Monday to Friday
- 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Saturday.
They cannot call on Sunday or public holidays.
Rules for telemarketers
- provide their contact details
- tell you why they are calling
- tell you, if you ask them, how they got your telephone number
- ensure that calling line identification is enabled when they make or attempt to make a call
- hang up immediately at your request, and not call back for at least 30 days
- give you a written copy of a sales agreement within five business days (or longer if you agree)
- inform you of your cooling-off rights and how you can end the agreement
- not attempt to get you to waive your cooling-off rights.
For detailed information about each of these requirements, see our Telemarketing - Fair trading page.
Cooling off or termination
You have 10 business days to reconsider a telemarketing agreement, during which you can cancel (or terminate) the agreement without penalty. This is the cooling-off period.
The cooling-off period starts on the first business day after you receive the agreement document.
During this period, a supplier can supply products or services, but must not accept payment for services.
Extended cooling-off period
You may terminate an agreement up to three months after the agreement documents are received, if the telemarketer:
- called outside of the permitted selling hours
- did not tell you why they called
- did not identify themselves, or the company they were calling on behalf of
- did not give a business name and postal address or email address, or
- did not end the call upon request.
The cooling-off period is extended to six months if a telemarketer:
- did not provide information about the cooling-off period, or
- was in breach of any of the requirements for unsolicited consumer agreements (such as failing to provide a written copy of the agreement or not including required information in the written agreement).
If you cool off or terminate
Once you have given notice (either verbally or in writing) that you wish to cool off, the agreement is void. The notice is effective even if:
- you give written notice, but the supplier has not received it
- products or services supplied have been wholly or partly consumed or used.
The termination date is considered to be the date you gave or sent your notice.
If you cool off on a telemarketing agreement, then any related contract is also effectively cancelled.
For products bought on credit or finance, it is the supplier’s responsibility to contact the credit provider and arrange for cancellation.
When you cool off, the supplier must promptly return or refund you any money paid under the agreement or related contract.
A supplier cannot:
- take action against you to recover any payments allegedly owed under the agreement
- place, or threaten to place, your name on a list of defaulters or debtors.
What happens to the products or services after cooling off?
You must, within a reasonable time, return any products you have not consumed or tell the supplier where to collect them.
If you have not taken reasonable care of the products, the supplier can seek compensation for depreciated value, or for any damage to the products.
You do not have to pay compensation for normal use of the products or circumstances beyond your control.
If the supplier does not collect the products within 30 days once notice has been given, you can keep them.
If the agreement is terminated after the cooling-off period and a service has already been provided, you may have to pay for the service as it cannot be ‘undone’ once it has been provided.
Do Not Call Register
To avoid telemarketers, you can request to be added to the Federal Government’s ‘Do Not Call Register’ online or by calling 1300 792 958.
Last updated: 13/05/2013