Solar Sales Tactics Burning Householders

18:56' 21-11-2017
The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) has warned that dodgy door-to-door salespeople are pressuring vulnerable residents with questionable sales tactics. Elderly and Aboriginal Victorians are particularly falling victim to their tricks, and many of the targeted people have poor or low English language skills.

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    Photo: protectingyourpocket.blog.palmbeachpost.com

    According to a recent CALC report, Knock It Off, more than half the cases analysed were for solar panel sales. In other cases, people were offered free laptops but had to sign papers they did not understand. Later, they found they had signed up for expensive courses of study.

    Most of the salespeople were operating door to door, but in some cases they have even approached people in supermarket carparks or at their workplace.

    A common tactic is to persuade people to let the salesperson into their homes. Then it becomes very hard to make the salesperson leave. Many people sign contracts just to get rid of them.

    In a normal sales situation, customers approach the trader, by phone or in the store, because they are seeking a product or service. Uninvited traders persuade people to buy products that they may not have thought they wanted or needed. Some of the salespersons offering solar panel deals even claim to be “from the government”.

    Many customers know little about the true price of solar panels, and often know nothing about the technology. The CALC report says solar panels are frequently sold on the promise that they will save the customer significant amounts on their electricity bill, and even falsely state that once the customer has paid off the panels, they will have no more electricity bills.

    Most contracts have a “cooling off “period, usually 10 days, giving a customer the right to cancel that contract, without incurring a penalty. However, some sales agents might try to talk you out of cancelling, or suggest the choice could be expensive.

    You should never let a door to door salesperson into your home. A reputable salesperson will usually agree to give you free brochures and information, for you to examine in your own time and discuss with your family or friends.

    Also, beware of the “good deal”. If you say you can't afford the repayment plan, the salesperson might suggest a lower plan, which you can afford. This is still a waste of your money if you don't really want the product, but sign a contract agreeing to the payment scheme.

    If you have been approached by aggressive salespersons, or signed a contract you are not sure of, contact consumeraction.org.au.

    Yoon K

     

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Keywords: consumer action law centresalespeoplesolar panel sales

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