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Crackdown on shop refunds

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SHOPPERS will no longer be left in the dark about refund policies as the ACCC launches an advertising blitz on the laws of returning goods.

The consumer education campaign aims to help those left out of pocket when retailers pick and choose what is eligible for a refund – whether it is a microwave oven or a pair of socks.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, only 10 per cent of Australians understand their rights when it comes to dodgy products and substandard services.

From tomorrow, the ACCC will advertise online, on multilingual radio stations and at bus stops to inform shoppers they are entitled to demand any product or service not up to scratch be repaired, replaced or refunded under the new consumer laws.

“Whether you are buying a watch or a washing machine, brand new or pre-loved, at full price or bagging a bargain, consumers can put their faith in the products they purchase, or expect the retailer or manufacturer to fix the problem,” commission chairman Rod Sims said.

“We now have a single national law, so that no matter where you shop in Australia, you have the same rights to a repair, replacement or refund for a faulty product or unsatisfactory service.”

But the wider awareness will mean the ACCC is hit with an onslaught of complaints.

The watchdog receives 200 complaints from grumpy consumers every week, with state fair-trading agencies also filtering their share.

“I expect to see a spike once the campaign is up and running,” Mr Sims said. “But we are ready for it.”

He expected the number to subside once companies realised the commission had empowered consumers to better understand and stand up for their rights.

Mr Sims vowed to crack down on rogue traders who continued to flout the laws, and haul them through the courts if necessary.

This article was reposted from the Herald Sun 

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