Victoria Legal Aid

Dealing with door-to-door sales – part one


James Turner, a door-to-door salesperson, knocks on the door of Marcello D’amico’s house. Despite Marcello’s reluctance, James convinces Marcello to sign a contract for a new phone deal.

Important moments in the video:

[00:00] James Turner approaches Marcello’s house and knocks on his door.

[04:10] Marcello lets James into his house after trying to get rid of him.

[05:29] James convinces Marcello to sign a new phone provider contract.

[06:09] Marcello has concerns about the contract.

[06:48] Information on where to get help.

[07:02] Credits.


[We begin in front of a house in the suburbs. James Turner walks down the street. He is wearing a shirt, tie and trousers, and holding a folder. He stops and looks at the house.

Inside the house Marcello D’amico is reading an Italian language newspaper. He is an older man. There is a loud knock at the door and Marcello flinches. Marcello looks through his closed privacy curtains out the window. He sees James’s silhouette outside.

Outside the house, James waits, then approaches the door to knock again.

Inside the house, Marcello stays on the couch and watches James through the widow.

Outside the house, James approaches the window and peers through the privacy curtains.

Inside the house, Marcello sees James trying to look in.]

Marcello D’amico: [To camera] I don’t understand it. How they just waiting there.

[Marcellos sighs, shakes his head and returns to the newspaper. Marcello starts when he hears a loud knock. He puts down the paper and takes a deep breath.]

Marcello: Okay, okay.

[Marcello gets up and walks to the door. He looks through the frosted glass at James’s silhouette. On the wall behind him are photos of his family members, both in colour and black-and-white.]

Marcello: [Loudly, through the closed door] Sorry no speaking English.

James Turner: [From other side of the door] Oh hello, you’re home. It’s James here from Inter-Tele-World.

Marcello: No speaking English. Sorry.

James: What language do you speak sir? Italian?

Marcello: Espanola.

James: Buenos dias. Me llamo James.

Marcello: No speaking Espanola. Ah…Greek. Greek only.

James: Calimera. To onoma mia einai James.

Marcello: No speaking Greek. Chinese. Speak only Chinese.

James: Nihao. Wojiao James.

Marcello: Okay, okay. Italian only.

James: Buongiorno, mi chiamo James.

Marcello: [Sighs, to camera] These days they hire the people to come to your house and speak in 20 different languages. But why do they want my money so much? I only have a little.

[Marcello opens the door.]

James: [smiling] Ah good morning sir. Buongiorno.

Marcello: Listen Mr…

James: Mr James Turner. Pleased to meet you.

Marcello: Mr Turner. I’m an old man. I do not want to switch gas. I’m happy with Sunshine Energy and Gas…Well, not so happy really. Every year they raise their prices. Please leave me be. Go and speak to next house.

James: Mr..?

Marcello: D’amico

James: Mr. D’amico, you’re in luck. I’m happy that you’re happy with your energy supplier. I don’t know the first thing about gas. You know much more than me.

Marcello: [Chuckles, to camera] Maybe I should get a job knocking on doors for Sunshine Energy and Gas.

James: If you’ve got some time to spare though, I’d like to talk to you about your phone bill.

Marcello: But I’m happy with my phone bill. It comes in the mail. I open it. I pay it. Well, I just don’t pay it. I think to myself ‘Marcello, why do you call your family back home in Italy so much? It’s costing you money you don’t have.’

Marcello: [To camera] Uh-oh. Shouldn’t have told him that. Forgive me, I’m an old man. Sometimes I like to talk.

James: I understand Marcello. I’m originally from New Zealand. And although I’ve been here a long time, it’s still important for me to ring home. To speak to my family.

Marcello: Yes, yes. Family very important. Wives. Children.

James: Of course you’re right. And with Inter-Tele-Worldwide we’ve got some good deals on international calls, so you can make sure family stays important. For you, Marcello, you can call back home to Italy. And I can call home to Wellington. And all for much cheaper than you’d expect. Even I was surprised at how low my phone bill was.

[Marcello looks interested as James talks]

James: [smiling] When I saw it I said to myself ‘Now James, you’ve got no excuse not to call home every day.’ Do you mind if I come in and tell you about how Inter-Tele-Worldwide is going to help save you money?

Marcello: [To camera] Am I going to regret this? But I do need to call home. Speak to my family. Maybe if I sign up, I can call Italy more often. I’ll just listen to him for five minutes and then I’ll tell him to go.

Marcello: [To James, nodding] Okay. Come in, come in.

[James smiles, walks through the door and follows Marcello into the house. They enter the dining room. Marcello sits down at a large table. James places his folder on the table. Still standing, James places his hands on the table and leans over towards Marcello.

James: Marcello, who’s your current telecommunications provider? Optimum Telco? Australia Telco?

Marcello: Optimum Telco.

James: [Speaking with confidence and increasing speed] Well of course you know that Optimum Telco has to pay a licencing fee to Australian Telco to basically rent their fibre optic land communication cables and they pass that cost right onto the consumer.

[Marcello squints at James.]

James: That means the consumer pays the retailer to borrow from the supplier. Now I’m not saying you should switch your retailer to the supplier because Australian Telco basically owns the telecommunications market.

[As James is talking, Marcello squints to try and concentrate and slightly shakes his head.]

James: Which means they have the market power to set the costs for other market players. And they determine the market price in a market they dominate and essentially price-regulate the market. You understand me?

[Marcello slowly nods.]

Marcello: [To camera] I have no idea what he is talking about.

[Marcello turns back to James, frowning. James sits down, keeping eye contact with Marcello.]

James: [with a slight smile] You like saving money don’t you, Marcello?

Marcello Yes, everyone does.

James: Good. Because our focus is the customer.

[James reaches out and touches Marcello’s arm]

James: [smiling] You. We want you to save money.

[James opens his folder and pulls out a contract and a number longer documents. He places the contract on the table in front of Marcello and flips to the final page. He places the other documents on the table in a pile next to the contract.]

Marcello: But what’s all this?

James: [Gestures to the large pile of documents, serious] It make sense if you read this first. And then…

[James double taps on the page in front of Marcello.]

James: …you just give me your signature here.

Marcello: Ah where?

[James draws an X on the contract.]

James: Here.

[James gives Marcello the pen.]

Marcello: But what am I signing up for?

James: Saving money Marcello. Ringing Italy.

[Marcello raises his hand, holding the pen.]

Marcello: Wait. Wait.

James: [frowning] If you don’t sign now, you won’t be saving anything.

Marcello: I really need to think about this.

James:  Of course, of course. You just sign here, have a think. And if you want to, give us a call.

[Marcello signs the form.]

Marcello: But what’s in it for me?

[James puts the signed contract in his folder and gestures to the pile of documents.]

James: [briskly] Read the information pack Marcello. It’s all in there.

[James leaves the room. Marcello pulls the information pack towards him and looks at it. The page is full of dense information. Marcello looks towards the direction James has gone.]

Marcello: But it’s all in fine print.

[Marcello gets up to follow James. James briskly walks out of the driveway in front of Marcello’s house and walks along the footpath. He is smiling. Marcello walks quickly through the open front door and stands at the front of his house. He looks down the street. Nobody is there. Marcello sighs deeply and takes off his glasses.]

Marcello: [To camera] What did I tell you? He is good. And me? Am I saving money? Am I a sucker?

[Screen fades to black. Instrumental music plays.]

[On-screen text listing legal information]

Where can I get help?

Legal advice

Organisations in your state or territory can give you free legal advice:

[On-screen text listing credits]


Community Legal Education team, Victoria Legal Aid

Director, Cameraman, Editor

Stefan Markworth


Marcello D’amico – Marcello D’amico

James Turner – Mark Tregonning

Copyright 2014 Victoria Legal Aid

[End transcript.]

Reviewed 30 January 2024