Do Not Knock
Show dodgy door-to-door sellers the door.
Sick of door-to-door traders and their pushy sales tactics? Get one of our “Do Not Knock” stickers and show them the door.
We’re distributing free “Do Not Knock” stickers as part of our campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door traders. The stickers can be put on your letterbox, front door – or anywhere prominent – to warn door-to-door sellers not to knock.
Any door-to-door seller that ignores a “Do Not Knock” sticker faces a fine of up to $30,000.
We launched this campaign because of the serious complaints we’ve fielded about door-to-door traders selling grossly overpriced products – often to people who can least afford to pay for them.
We’ve dealt with cases involving outrageously expensive $3000 vacuum cleaners that clean no better than vacuums you can buy for $100.
We’ve had complaints about $11,000 education software sold to parents with misleading claims about what it provides.
We’ve also heard from consumers enticed to buy overpriced beds and other household goods they couldn’t afford and go into debt to purchase.
The sales pitch used by the sellers can go on for hours. People have told us they’ve felt the only way to get rid of the salesperson is to buy the product.
We’ve also had complaints about pushy door-to-door sellers working for electricity companies as well as traders who knock on the door offering to prune trees or paint the roof. They take money for the job but the promised work either never gets done or is done so badly you have to pay someone else to fix it.
Everybody has an implied licence to enter your property and knock on your door. But you have the right to take away this licence. You can revoke a salesperson’s licence to enter your property by displaying a “Do Not Knock” sticker. If a door-to-door seller ignores the sticker, they’re likely to be trespassing.
As of 16 August 2022, they also face a $30,000 fine under the Fair Trading Act.
Recent changes to the act will make it an offence for any seller to ignore a sticker, or other written or verbal direction not to enter your property.
In addition to fining traders, the courts will be able to make other orders, including cancelling a sales agreement and requiring the door-to-door seller to pay compensation to the consumer.
Put the sticker on your letterbox, front gate or front door – anywhere it’s clearly visible.
If a salesperson ignores a “Do Not Knock” sticker, they’re likely to be trespassing. You have the right to bring an action against them under common law.
From 16 August 2022, it will be an offence to ignore a sticker or any other written or verbal direction not to enter your property. If a salesperson ignores the sticker, make a complaint to the Commerce Commission.
We’d also like to hear from you if salespeople are ignoring the sticker. Contact us at donot[email protected].
Yes. Consumer groups across the Tasman have used the stickers to campaign for better consumer protection there.
The sticker applies to uninvited salespeople. Be aware some door-to-door sellers use the ruse of phoning and offering a “free gift” if you agree to an in-home demonstration. They’re usually extremely coy about the product they’re selling and its price. Don’t feel shy about hanging up.
The sticker is only intended to prevent salespeople from knocking on your door. You also have the right to tell other door-knockers to leave if you don’t want them at your house.
Statistics NZ interviewers are an exception. Statistics NZ has the right to visit homes when it’s conducting official surveys. If selected for a survey, you’re required to participate. Interviewers will have an official identification badge.
If you buy goods or services and the value is more than $100, you have the right to cancel the deal for any reason. The seller must tell you this orally and in writing. You can cancel the deal within five working days of receiving the written agreement. Find out more about your rights.
The NZ Marketing Association operates 'do not mail' and 'do not call' registers, available free to consumers. If you don't want to receive cold calls from telemarketers, your home contact details can be added to the list.
The association's members use the list to find out who doesn't want to be called. But it's not foolproof - you'll still get calls from companies that aren't members of the association.
To use the registers:
Learn more about how telemarketers find you.
If a salesperson ignores your sticker, you have two options. First, you can complain to the Commerce Commission. Under the Fair Trading Act, it is an offence to ignore a Do Not Knock sticker or any other written or verbal direction to leave. Second, you can warn the person they’re trespassing and you’ll call the police if they don’t leave. If the person doesn’t leave after you’ve given them a reasonable opportunity to do so, call 105 or 111 for emergencies and ask for the police. The person is committing an offence under the Trespass Act by remaining on your property.
You can issue a trespass notice (408 KB). A trespass notice is a formal warning to stay off your property.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t own the home or the land, you just need to be a lawful occupier of the property (i.e. a tenant, licensee or owner) or someone authorised by the lawful occupier of the property.
You can issue a trespass notice orally or in writing. We recommend a written trespass notice so you have proof you’ve issued the notice.
You can use this template (408 KB).
Complete three copies of the trespass notice – one for the trespasser, one for you and one for your local police station. Also, complete the “Details of service of trespass notice” page as a record of the notice having been served.
To issue a written trespass notice, simply hand it to the person. If the person won’t take the notice or if it drops to the ground, you have still served the notice.
If a person comes back within two years of receiving a trespass notice, they will be committing an offence under the Trespass Act. The penalty for an offence under the Trespass Act is a fine of up to $1000 or a prison term of up to three months.
Here’s what members told us about their experiences:
Door-to-door salesmen turned up right on dinner time. It was pitch black in the middle of winter and I happened to be home alone. They put heaps of pressure on to change power providers.
Said ‘no thank you’ five times and asked him to leave and he still kept going.
Just pushy and made promises that I knew were untrue and could not be fulfilled.
The vacuum cleaner guy did not want to leave until we agreed to buy the machine costing $3500.
A salesperson came into my home and eventually had to be threatened with the police to get him out.
Would not take ‘no thanks’ for an answer.
Salesperson was verbally abusive when asked to leave.
Wouldn’t go away and kept his foot in the door so we couldn’t get it closed.
Pushy and argumentative and refusing to accept no for an answer.
Power company salesman simply would not take no for an answer and was very reluctant to leave until I made it clear in very simple terms.
Became really unpleasant when we wouldn’t sign an agreement to buy a $4500 cleaner!
Consumer NZ is a 100% independent, not-for-profit charity. We've distributed over 500,000 free Do Not Knock stickers since 2014! Without your help we simply couldn't offer stickers and advice for free. To help us keep printing stickers, please consider supporting our campaign against door-to-door sellers with a donation.
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