Dodgy door-knockers told to take a cold shower

May 22, 2024 BY

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2024 will enforce the ban on door-knocking from August 1. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Victorian government has banned telemarketing and door-knocking under the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program in response to consumer complaints about high-pressure sales tactics.

The ban aims to protect consumers from aggressive marketing practices and encourage the use of alternative methods.

These salespeople have been criticised for their pushy approach and poor service quality.

The decision follows numerous complaints from residents about aggressive door-to-door salespeople and telemarketers offering free, often unwanted, showerhead replacements, some of which were reported to crack, leak, or cause pressure issues not long after installation.

Bellarine MP Alison Marchant said the behaviour would not be tolerated.

“It’s been disturbing to learn that local Bellarine residents, many elderly, have been pestered, yelled at and aggressively pressured by telemarketers and doorknockers who are promoting the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

“It’s frankly unacceptable behaviour.”

Under the VEU program, Victorians are eligible for up to two water-saving showerheads if their existing ones have a high flow rate or a low star rating.

The free showerheads can be quite profitable for those distributing them, as door-to-door agents earn Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) for each tonne of greenhouse gas savings from these upgrades.

The market value for each VEEC is currently about $110.00.

To date, 890,417 homes and business have had showerheads replaced resulting in the issuing of 2,115,883 VEECs.

This equates to a current market value of the VEECs of almost $233 million.

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2024 will enforce the ban on door-knocking from August 1, while the ban on telemarketing came into effect on May 1.

These measures are designed to provide accredited private companies, responsible for offering energy upgrades under the VEU program, time to adjust their marketing strategies.

Under the new regulations, accredited providers and scheme participants will no longer be allowed to use telemarketing or door-knocking to market their energy-efficient products and services unless they have received express consent from the consumer.

Additionally, purchasing leads generated through these methods will also be prohibited.

The Essential Services Commission (ESC), which regulates and administers the VEU program, will monitor compliance with the new rules.

Consumers who experience telemarketing calls or door-knocking related to the VEU program after the ban comes into effect are encouraged to phone the ESC at (03) 9032 1310 or email [email protected].

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