Last updated 3 August 2016
Unsolicited goods are goods that were sent to a consumer without a request or an authorised delivery. Some typical examples are books, magazines or Christmas cards sent to the person without the person requesting those goods.
Unsolicited services are services provided to a consumer without them having made either a request or authorised the provision of the service. An example is the provision of a directory entry without the consumer requesting the entry. The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) has specific sections dealing with unsolicited goods and services.
If a consumer receives unsolicited goods, they must keep those goods for a period of three months during which time the seller can recover the goods. The consumer can shorten the period to one month if they give a written notice to the seller of the goods. Once the period has ended, the consumer is entitled to keep the goods unless the consumer knew the goods were not intended for them (e.g. if the consumer received something in the mail addressed to someone else) or the consumer did not allow the seller to collect the goods during that period (s 41 ACL).