After an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation, Craftmatic, a door-to-door therapeutic bedding company, admitted to employing unconscionable sales techniques.

Targeting elderly, sometimes housebound, residents, Craftmatic admitted to engaging in high-pressure sales tactics and distributing a guidebook, Craftmatic – Classic Closes, to assist salesmen in sidestepping objections. These included tactics to encourage buying a bed even if they wanted to discuss the purchase with their children first.

In the initial consultation, the salesman would discuss health concerns
with the potential customer despite Craftmatic stocking only one type
of bed. Furthermore, the price could range from $4,000 to $15,000,
based on the customer’s level of resistance to the purchase.

Companies selling products door-to-door have been warned to deal fairly
with their customers following legal action today by the ACCC.

Companies cannot use unfair pressure or mislead or deceive customers
during their sales spiel, acting chairman, Mr Peter Kell, said.

Appearing in the Federal Court in Brisbane, Craftmatic agreed to court injunctions and declarations for acting in an unconscionable manner against senior citizens. Craftmatic will be restrained against a range of conduct for seven years. In addition, it will need to contact certain customers and report back to the ACCC on resolution of complaints.

Businesses need to be extra mindful to ensure appropriate conduct with any door-to-door sales. This is particularly true when dealing with elderly citizens who may be vulnerable to high pressure selling techniques, said Peter Kell, acting ACCC chairman.