Unsolicited consumer agreements

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An agreement is considered to be unsolicited if:

  • it is for the supply, in trade or commerce, of products or services to a consumer; and 
  • a supplier/salesperson approaches or telephones a consumer without that consumer having invited this contact; and
  • negotiations take place over the phone, or in person at a location other than the supplier’s premises; and
  • the total value of the agreement is more than $100, or the value was not known at the time the agreement was made.

A negotiation includes any discussion or dealing directed towards the making of an agreement or proposed agreement.

An invitation to a supplier to quote for the supply of goods or services is not an invitation to negotiate for supply.

In the event of a dispute, the onus is on the business to prove that an agreement is not an unsolicited consumer agreement.

Businesses should also note that the Corporations Act 2001 prohibits unsolicited hawking of securities, certain financial products and managed investment products. More information is available from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website.

Examples of unsolicited consumer agreements

Some typical examples of situations that may lead to an unsolicited agreement being made are:

  • door knocking households and offering to sell products or services, or inviting consumers to switch to a different service provider – see our Door-to-door sales page
  • telephoning consumers and offering to sell products or services – see our Telemarketing page
  • approaching consumers in the common area of a shopping centre and offering to sell products or services 
  • leaving a missed call message on an answering machine for the consumer to respond.

The following situations may also be considered unsolicited approaches: