Tertiary education program

Unfair selling practices

The ACL also provides consumers with specific protections that address identified forms of business conduct. These include provisions that either ban or prohibit specific practices or regulate certain consumer transactions.

Module 8 describes the specific unfair practices in trade or commerce that may lead consumers to make mistakes or misjudge offers, including:

  • specific conduct concerning the offering of rebates, gifts or prizes and bait advertising
  • specific conduct relating to the uninvited supply of goods or services, as well as unsolicited credit and debit cards
  • participation in, or promotion of, pyramid schemes
  • pricing practices that obscure the total price of an offer, or multiple pricing
  • certain practices to do with referral selling and harassment or coercion
  • certain conduct in door-to-door selling, cold calling or lay-bys.

This module also outlines the law against unconscionable conduct which prohibits conduct that is so unreasonable it defies good conscience.

Module 8 also explains the law in relation to unfair contract terms. Standard form consumer and small business contracts cannot contain terms that:

  • cause a significant imbalance in the consumer's or small business's rights as compared to the business's rights
  • are not reasonably necessary to protect the business's interests, and
  • cause any detriment to the consumer or small business.