Wednesday, 19 July 2017 18:01

TIO welcomes Vic Govt campaign ‘It’s OK to Walk Away’ from high-pressure sales

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If you’ve been hassled by high-pressure sales tactics, the Victorian Government wants you to know “It’s OK to walk away".

The Victorian Government has made this clear it an announcement from Consumer Affairs Victoria entitled: “Koori consumers: it’s OK to walk away.”

Presumably the advice is equally relevant to non-Koori customers that it’s OK for them to walk away, too.

At Consumer Affairs Victoria’s news alert, we are told “Koori consumers in urban and rural areas will be encouraged to be aware of their consumer rights and have the confidence to say no to pushy salespeople through the campaign, part of a national initiative by government consumer agencies".

“Recent actions against suppliers by federal and state government regulators have highlighted the specific targeting of Aboriginal consumers, including cases involving sales of mobile phone services, electronic goods, photography packages, and VET FEE training courses.”

We are told “the campaign will highlight the high-pressure tactics used by salespeople including:

  • the freebie – free offers such as laptops luring you into a contract. You may end up paying for the item (and more) over the life of the contract.
  • the special deal – the one-time or today-only offer made to make you buy without you reading or understanding the contract.
  • the chatty man – the salesperson who keeps on talking to persuade you into buying or signing.
  • your new best friend – the salesperson who has spent a lot of time with you and now says they’re your "mate".
  • the complainer – the salesperson who says you are wasting their time.
  • the manipulator – the salesperson who tries to make you feel guilty or ashamed for not buying something for your children or your future – they are making a sale by getting to your emotions.

Tips to avoid a high-pressure sale:

  • remember – it is ok to walk away, hang up the phone or ask the salesperson to leave your home.
  • you have the right to ask questions and compare prices and deals. Always remember: you do not have to buy today.
  • get a Do Not Knock sticker and get on the Do Not Call register.
  • make an informed decision - get all the details before you sign. Do not sign up and read it later.
  • look out for the high-pressure sales tactics listed above.
  • talk to us – there are consumer laws that protect you.
  • Koori consumers can get more information on the Victorian Government’s Koori resources page

Presumably this information is equally valid for non-Koori people.

A Victorian Koori helpline is also available on 1300 66 15 11.

The helpline for non-Koori people is 1300 55 81 81.

The TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) has announced that it supports this new campaign.

Commenting on the campaign, Judi Jones, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, says, “with 66,000 new complaints between 1 July and 31 December last year, we see the value phone and Internet services have to all residential consumers.

“Billing and payments, customer service and contracts were some of the most common complaints. If residential consumers or small business have a dispute with their telephone or internet provider and feel it isn’t resolved, they should contact the TIO website or call 1800 062 058.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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