Special rules apply to uninvited direct sales, eg door-to-door, mail order and infomercials sales.

Before you buy

When businesses approach you, or give you products and services you didn’t ask for, it's an uninvited direct sale. It's important to:

  • Not be pressured into buying something you don't really want.
  • Record the date and time of your purchase and keep any confirmation of your order.
  • Pay by credit card if you do agree to buy. This means you can apply to your bank for a chargeback if there are any problems. A chargeback reverses the transaction.
  • Make sure the terms and conditions are clear, including price, delivery costs, delivery date, returns and warranties.

It's not an uninvited sale if you renew your existing service with the same supplier on the same, or similar, terms.

Truck shops

Your rights

The Fair Trading Act has special rules for uninvited direct sales.

An uninvited direct sale is when:

  • a trader sells you products or services over $100 for personal, domestic or household use
  • the sale is negotiated at your home or workplace, or by phone
  • you didn’t invite the trader to visit or call for that reason.

It's also an uninvited direct sale if:

  • you had given your name or contact details to the seller for some other reason, eg competition or a survey, and later they came to your home or workplace, or phoned you without your permission to try to sell you something else
  • they rang you without permission and you later returned the call and bought something
  • the seller comes to your door or phones you without an invite, even if you had previously invited them to phone you or come to your home or workplace for a different sale.

You have the right to direct salespeople to leave or not enter your property if they are uninvited. This includes mobile traders ('truck shops') and anyone selling products or services door-to-door but excludes people visiting for other purposes (like requests for charitable donations) or to offers of goods and services under $100.

These directions may be given to a specific person (e.g. by contacting a business, or telling a salesperson to leave), or to salespeople generally through signage on your property.

  • For example, you may use a sign saying “Salespersons Do Not Knock” on a gate or front door provided it is clearly visible.
  • A direction to a specific person lasts for two years, before that person can enter your property to negotiate an uninvited direct sale.

When you buy something in an uninvited direct sale, the seller must give you a copy of the sales agreement, containing a clear description of what you're buying, a summary of your right to cancel, the seller's details and your details.

If the business doesn't follow these rules, you can complain to the Commerce Commission. This government organisation doesn't act on behalf of individuals and can't investigate every complaint. But their investigations do help make sure businesses are complying with the law.

Make a complaint(external link) — Commerce Commission

You can change your mind and cancel for any reason within five working days of receiving the written agreement. You're entitled to a full refund.

Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, you have rights if:

  • the products or services are faulty or don’t match their description
  • your products are delivered late
  • your products are lost or damaged in transit
  • delivery or freight costs are more expensive than stated.

Consumer Guarantees Act

See our faulty products page if something you bought doesn’t work, breaks, or doesn’t do what you expected it to.

Faulty products



Example — Added extras

While a company is at Greg’s home installing a security system, they also sell his elderly mother a personal alarm. The sale of the personal alarm is an uninvited direct sale, so Greg can cancel within five working days and receive a full refund.

Example — Cancelling a door-to-door sale

Aroha agreed to change electricity provider after a door to door sales person knocked on her door and made her an offer. After four days, Jenny decided the offer wasn't right for her after all, so she contacted the business and told them she wanted to cancel the agreement. The business cancelled the agreement at no cost to Jenny, and she stayed with her original electricity provider.