Consumer laws and protections

LAST week’s article briefly introduced the consumer laws – the ACL. Over the coming weeks I will share information about the ACL, how it operates and how it protects consumers.

While there are legal protections and guarantees relating specifically to financial products and services also, these are covered under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, (regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

The topic of financial products and services specifically is outside the scope of this article series.

There is free information on the ACL available for members of the community – for example, on the website of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT). OFT has a small business self-assessment checklist to help businesses comply with the ACL and Legal Aid also has a guide titled “Consumer and Trader Disputes”.

The resources are very informative, but keep in mind most are designed to explain the ACL in plain language and are not a substitute for the legislation or legal advice.

The regulators of the ACL are the ACCC and OFT.

Disputes that cannot be resolved informally may be determined by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or a court, depending on various factors.

The ACL provides guarantees and rights to consumers, which cannot be excluded/limited. It also prohibits certain behaviours by businesses and sets standards of conduct, which we will start to look at next week.

Until next week – keep it legal!

Katie Caldow

* The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.

Walker PenderConsumer laws and protections