We have all received those uninvited telephone calls from someone desperately trying to sell us goods and/or services – often during dinner with the family or at the most inconvenient time possible.

At Nautilus Law Group, we have heard many stories of people agreeing to enter into contracts for goods and/or services as a result of an uninvited phone call, to later find out that the promises which were made to them by the person on the phone are not what they contracted for once they receive the goods or services.

These types of contracts may include a contract to join a program which claims to provide personalised training for property investment or wealth advice, for savings on electricity or natural gas, for home improvements, among many other possible contracts of the like.

The contract agreed to may be expensive and often after the call or even after endorsement of a contract for goods and services unsolicited, the consumer finds those promises evaporate and reality hits that they agreed to an inappropriate arrangement.

What can you do about it?

The Australian Consumer Law provides protections for situations such as this. If the contract for goods and/or services costs more than $100 but less than $40,000, and the contract was made as a result of an uninvited telephone call or an uninvited sale at your doorstep, it is likely that the contract is an unsolicited consumer agreement and specific protections will apply.

These protections include the seller being legally required to send you a copy of the contract within 5 business days after the telephone call, which must clearly state a cooling off period, and include a Notice of Termination which can be used by you to terminate the contract during the cooling off period.

There are further protections in the Australian Consumer Law which impose guarantees that goods be of acceptable quality, match any demonstration model or sample you inspected, be fit for the purpose the business told you it would be fit for and any purpose that you made known to the business before purchasing, and come with full title and ownership. In respect to offers for services (such as personalised wealth planning or property investment classes) the services must be provided with acceptable care and skill or technical knowledge, be fit for the purpose or give the results that you and service provider had agreed to, and the services provider must take all necessary steps to avoid loss and damage to you.

If you have entered into a contract for goods and/or services as a result of an uninvited telephone call or sale at your doorstep, or the goods and services do not meet the guarantees outlined in this article, you may have remedies under the Australian Consumer Law.

If you are unhappy with goods or services you have purchased and require some legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact Tyler Smith of Nautilus Law Group at Tyler@nautiluslaw.com.au or phone 07 5574 3560. We will be happy to assist!

https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/sales-delivery/telemarketing-door-to-door-sales/unsolicited-consumer-agreements#unsolicited-consumer-agreements

https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/sales-delivery/telemarketing-door-to-door-sales

https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees

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