Door-to-door scam warning

NEW SOUTH WALES Fair Trading Commissioner Lyn Baker is warning consumers on the Mid North Coast to be wary of door-to-door traders selling household goods through rental style contracts and interest-free deals.

Ms Baker said Fair Trading had received advice this week from the region about door-to-door traders targeting Aboriginal communities and selling white goods, electrical goods and household furniture.

“Door-to-door traders often peddle household items and prey on unsuspecting consumers to make a quick buck,” she said.

“They use demonstrations, samples and glossy catalogues to pitch their products to consumers who may not normally have easy access to such goods.

“These traders try to persuade consumers to sign agreements that lock them into paying regular instalments via direct bank debits or automatic deductions from Centrelink entitlements.

"Once the customer takes receipt of the product, they often find they haven't got what they paid for or are paying too much.”

Ms Baker said common complaints associated with door-to-door traders included:

  • The total amount to be repaid is often much greater than the real value of the goods.
  • The goods supplied may be different or inferior to what the customer was led to expect.
  • Customers experience delivery delays.
  • Customers experience problems getting faulty goods replaced or repaired.
  • Terms and conditions of the agreements are not properly explained to customers, who may be misled into thinking they are buying goods when they are only renting them.

If you think you have been the victim of a door-to-door scam, you can contact the New South Wales Office of Fair Trading.

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