As a consumer, you are entitled to certain rights and guarantees that protect your purchases and your decisions as buyers. When a business sells you a product that fails to meet its claims, proves harmful, or cheats you in any way, you, as a consumer, are entitled to some guarantees that can be enforced to rectify the mistake or problem.
These can be in the form of refunds, replacements, repairs and, depending on the severity of the issue, even monetary compensation.
This article is a rundown of your options as enforced by the consumer protection laws if you feel like a business has cheated you.
Any business operating in Australia falls under the purview of Australian Consumer Law. This is the national law that works to protect the rights of consumers.
This is a part of consumer protection laws. According to this law, when a business chooses to sell services or goods to a consumer base, it is expected to uphold the basic rights of the consumer in its services and products. When the customer buys anything from a business, these rights automatically come into force.
These consumer protection laws under the Australian Consumer Law are also called consumer guarantees. It is unlawful for a business to not uphold these standards intentionally or unintentionally.
If you think you have been cheated as a consumer, that constitutes a violation of consumer protection laws or consumer guarantees. This is also known as consumer exploitation.
It counts as consumer exploitation if the product or service you’ve bought devalues its claims. This kind of dissemination of misinformation happens in various ways. Here are some frequent examples:
If a product or service promises a set of expected results but does not hold up to them upon usage, it counts as misinformation.
This happens when a product or service does not provide enough or correct information about its usage, terms and conditions, pricing and general instructions on operation and maintenance. This results in the consumer being unable to use their purchase for its designated purpose.
If a product or service severely underperforms or is of inferior quality due to manufacturing shortcuts and safety neglect, the product is called substandard. This also includes selling expired or previously used products and services.
Suppose you’ve been cheated or exploited by a business and its products or services. In that case, the consumer protection laws have guarantees that compel the business to make amends and provide what is known as remedies. These can be through refund policies, returns, repairs, or even monetary compensations in case of more severe harm.
A consumer is entitled to remedies in two broad cases:
When one or more of the above conditions are met, the customer is entitled to a full refund. The businesses cannot hold back refunds because their retail outlets do not provide refunds. In the case of services, the refund can be reduced or adjusted depending on how much of the service has been utilized. The money should be paid in the same form and medium in which the customer paid for its purchase.
Consumer exploitation and cheating can be a serious offence and can disseminate immense harm to customers. In such cases, it is extremely important to claim your rights as a consumer and seek remedies and compensations that match the damage or loss you’ve sustained due to the purchase. The most experienced consumer protection lawyers in Perth can help you with effective consultations in this regard.
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