‘Cooling off’ reminder for solar and air conditioning industries

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Business / companyConsumer

Consumer Protection has reminded businesses operating in the solar and air conditioning industries in WA to be aware of their legal obligations regarding unsolicited sales.

These sales include door-knocking, telemarketing or a direct approach in the common area of a shopping centre when the contact has not been initiated by the consumer.  Businesses have also been reminded that a cooling off period applies if a customer simply asks for a quote and a sale is negotiated at that time.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said, in these circumstances, the trader must honour a mandatory ten business day cooling off period.

“The cooling off period for unsolicited sales means that the goods cannot be supplied or the services carried out for ten business days after the contract is signed, which gives the consumer time to consider more carefully their decision to purchase and determine if they can afford it,” Mr Newcombe said.

“It’s also a strict requirement that no money changes hands until the cooling off period expires. Consumers should be aware that they can exercise their right to cancel during this time and not have to pay any penalty for cancelling the deal.

“We have written to companies operating in the solar and air conditioning industries to remind them to provide consumers with information on the cooling off period. They have also been reminded about the trading hours for door to door or telemarketing campaigns.”

So far this year Consumer Protection has received more than 300 complaints against solar businesses and almost 100 complaints against air conditioning businesses.

“Generally we see a spike in consumer complaints against solar and air conditioning companies during the summer months, so we are getting in early to ensure that their sales teams know the rules and stick to them,” the acting Commissioner said.

“With fines of up to $50,000 for corporations who breach these laws, it pays for companies to ensure their salespeople are aware of these requirements under the Australian Consumer Law and don’t put their business at risk.”

Further information on unsolicited sales can be found on the Consumer Protection website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection. Enquiries can be made by email consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

END OF RELEASE

Media Contact (Consumer Protection)

Consumer Protection
Media release
19 Dec 2014

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