World Consumer Rights Day
Consumers are being reminded of their marketplace rights, ahead of World Consumer Rights Day on Sunday 15 March.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said World Consumer Rights Day served as a timely reminder that they were protected by a set of marketplace rules contained within the Australian Consumer Law.
“This protection applies to the goods and services we buy every day, from grocery items and whitegoods, to vehicle repairs and hairdressing services,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Consumers are legally entitled to a refund, repair, replacement or repeat service if there is a problem with any goods or services they buy.
“Businesses can’t refuse to help, nor simply refer consumers to the manufacturer.
“By the same token though, businesses have rights too, and they don’t have to give a refund if the consumer simply changes their mind or buys the wrong size or colour.
“Many businesses do, as a matter of goodwill, give refunds and exchanges even when legally they don’t have to, so consumers should make a habit of checking a store’s refund policy before purchasing.
“The law also protects consumers from shonky business practices like misleading advertising, unsafe goods and situations where a business doesn’t hand over the goods or services paid for.
“Where problems arise, the Office of Fair Trading can assist consumers in their disputes with businesses, and take action against businesses who break the law.
“In 2014, Queensland consumers recouped over $3.6 million after intervention by the Office of Fair Trading in marketplace disputes.”
World Consumer Rights Day was founded in 1962 by then President of the United States of America John F Kennedy to highlight universal consumer rights, which include the right to be informed, the right to choose and the right to safety.
Australian fair trading regulators administer the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to ensure all Australian consumers are protected when they buy goods and services.
Regulators publish an annual progress report on the administration of the ACL, which is available from www.consumerlaw.gov.au/aclreport1314.
More information on consumer and business rights and responsibilities can be found at http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=home.htm.
13 March 2015.