Getting products and services you did not request

Some businesses might deliver goods or services to you, even though you did not agree to buy or receive them. You do not have to pay for unsolicited goods or services.

Unsolicited services

A business must not provide you with a service unless they get your permission first.

If you hire a business to do a specific service, then that is all you are authorising them to do. They can’t include any extras unless they ask for your permission.


A motorist arranges for a mechanic to replace the muffler on his car for $300. The motorist returns that afternoon to find that the mechanic has also replaced the tyres and brake pads. The mechanic gives him a bill totalling $1,200. The motorist disputes this, saying that he had never asked the mechanic to replace the tyres or brake pads. He needs to pay the agreed price of $300 for the muffler replacement, but not the full $1,200.

Unsolicited goods

Some businesses might try to sell you goods by sending them to you unsolicited. This is a fair practice, but they cannot force you to buy them. If you want the goods, you will have to pay the asking price. Otherwise, write to the business and ask them to collect the goods. They will then have one month to collect the goods. If you don’t write to the business, they have three months to collect the goods.

When you are returning goods, you must take reasonable steps to make them available for the business to collect. The business must collect the goods within the allocated time or you may keep them for free.


A householder gets a package of books, magazines and DVDs in the mail. They were addressed to her even though she did not purchase or request them. She writes to the business and says that she doesn’t want the package. She advises them that she will leave the goods in a box on her back veranda for them to collect. A month passes, but the business does not collect the package. The householder may keep it for free.