Consumer Protection in Australian Online Competitions

Posted on: 2nd July 2014

Australian Online Competitions Consumer ProtectionConsumer protection for online competitions in Australia is secured by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). ACCC was established in 1995 as an independent statutory authority of the Australian Government, and is tasked with overseeing the Trade Practices Act of 1974 and the Prices Surveillance Act of 1983. Its primary purpose of promoting and regulating competition and fair marketplace trade benefits all stakeholders - consumers, business and the community – who are checked for compliance with the laws pertaining to Commonwealth competition, consumer protection and fair trading. The ACCC also administers national infrastructure services.

The ACCC ensures the laws are correctly implemented by individuals and businesses, even while the state and territory offices are tasked to make and govern trade promotion legislation in their respective jurisdictions. The protection of consumers is further ensured by the Competition and Consumer Policy Division of the Commonwealth Treasury. Following are the basics of Australian consumer protection.

Australian Consumer Law (ACL)

Managed by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

The ACCC provides Australian citizens easy-reading versions of the facts as stated in the Australian Consumer Law, including how-to guides, the laws and amendments. The ACL applies to all Australian businesses crossing over all state or territories.

Product Safety Australia

Administered by Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia

Both Australian consumers and businesses can check the website for compliance with product safety standards.

Product Safety Email Alerts

Issued by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Australian consumers can receive notifications through email about product safety, new products and updates. You only need to subscribe to email alerts.

Product Safety Recalls Australia

Issued by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Australian consumers can receive email notifications about goods that have been recalled for safety issues. You only need to sign up for email alerts.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The website can provide service to consumers and businesses and give them financial identity protection, especially in online transactions.

Recalls Australia

Managed by Australian Bankers' Association

The site receives reports about unsafe products and provides information on recalled merchandise. The site can be accessed by consumers through their iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android gadgets.

Scams - Reports And Complaints

Managed by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The ACCC receives reports and takes immediate and necessary actions against scams.

Scamwatch

Organized by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Consumers and businesses can learn how to recognise scams and avoid being scammed. Immediate reports are encouraged to minimise losses.

Your Rights And Safeguards

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Consumers and businesses can phone the ACCC for help in connecting and repairing faults, interim and alternative services. The ACCC also provides guarantees for implementation of service terms and conditions, priority assistance, codes of practice, and untimed local calls, and special service for people with disabilities.

Treasury

For consumers

Australians can learn from the Treasury about their rights and privileges as consumers, as well as information on guarantees, contracts and agreements, and debt for persons involved in trade promotions. The consumers can file complaints against the trade promotion and its marketing manager about any discrepancies including, but not limited to, misleading advertising and claims, prizes received that are not the same as promised, and forced online shopping. The treasury also addresses issues about the prices and receipts of online merchandise such as groceries, LPG, diesel and petrol.

MoneySmart Website

Administered by Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Australians can access MoneySmart, a website which provides financial guidance to consumers. Information presented and answer to queries are given by consumer educators and financial planners with expertise in budgeting, insurance, borrowing and credit, banking, investing, retirement income planning, unclaimed money, and scams. The site has tools and calculators designed to help you manage your finances. The website is administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

National Consumer Credit Regulation

Administered by Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Australians needing information about consumer credit can get information from the National Consumer Credit Regulation which provides information about registration, licensing and regulation of consumer credit. The site is run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)

Administered by Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Australians can check the national register of the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) for evaluations of used items they want to purchase. It indicates which items have security interests. The register lists items such as used cars, boats, machinery. The PPSR can also provide additional protection to businesses with debtors who default on payments.

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