Buyers beware

LATROBE VALLEY residents should be aware of door-to-door salespeople, who have been selling expensive online courses to the region’s most vulnerable people.

Morwell Neighbourhood House coordinator Tracie Lund said a number of people had contacted the house after signing up to $25,000 debts, which included additional interest.

“They do seem to be in the Valley at the moment and they are targeting our most vulnerable people, who have limited literacy skills,” Ms Lund said.

“They’re setting these people up for failure, because chances are they can’t complete the courses, but they’ll be set up with the debt.”

For the past fortnight, Morwell Neighbourhood House has been fielding queries about contracts, which offer new students various diplomas including nursing, community services or business.

Ms Lund said one of the providers recruiting residents through door-knocking offered each course online with the incentive of a free laptop.

“Another concern is, are these certificates worth the paper they’re printed on?” Ms Lund asked.

“You might need to go back to TAFE to re-train in those skills.

“Any reputable training provider is not going to sell you a class through door knocking.”

Ms Lund wanted to remind the community – in the event a contract had been signed – a 10-day cooling off period does exist.

She referred clients onto Victoria Legal Aid services, which offers advice about how to cancel contracts and the laws surrounding door-to-door salespeople.

“What I’m encouraging people to do is be aware with something that is too good to be true, chances are it is,” Ms Lund said.

“Be aware you don’t have to sign anything there and then, and don’t allow yourself to be pressured by salespeople.”