Older Aussies say 'do not knock'

Woman looking through locked door.

Photo: Woman looking through locked door. (Source: Shutterstock)

Older Australians are calling on the federal government to back a ‘Do Not Knock’ register which would allow the elderly to opt out of house calls from aggressive door-to-door salespeople.

In a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social and Legal Affairs last week, National Seniors argued older Australians were seen as “easy pickings” by pushy door-to-door salespeople.

“Seniors are being deliberately targeted and pressured into signing up for services they don’t need or understand, and, subsequently find, they can’t afford,” National Seniors chief executive, Michael O’Neill, said.

“Why should older vulnerable people feel intimidated and pressured by strangers within, what should be, the sanctuary of their own homes?” he asked.

“For most Australians unsolicited sales visits and telephone calls are a violation of both their personal space and time”.

National Seniors members have reported concerns around harassment, aggressive sales tactics, intrusion of privacy, being ignored when asking a sales representative to leave and the inconvenient times of visits.

The Do Not Knock Register Bill 2012 was introduced into federal parliament by Labor MP, Steve Georganas, in May. However, its progress was stalled when it was sent to the Social and Legal Affairs Committee.

If the Bill passes, charities, religious organisations, political candidates and educational organisations will be exempt from the legislation.