Buying products and services

  • Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must meet a set of basic rights called consumer guarantees when they sell products or services.
  • Nothing a business says or does can take away a consumer guarantee.
  • If a consumer has a problem with a product or service, their first step is to contact the seller.

Consumer rights and guarantees

Consumers have the right to expect certain things when they buy a product or service. These rights are protected under consumer law and are known as consumer guarantees.

Payment methods

When using a payment method other than cash, consumers should read any terms and conditions carefully. Businesses should be clear about the total price payable.

Receipts, bills, proof of purchase

It is always a good idea to get a receipt or other proof of purchase for products and services you buy. Keep all records just in case something goes wrong later.

Buying online

Standard rights and responsibilities still apply, but there are things consumers and businesses need to know when buying and selling online.

Warranties

Warranties are extra promises that a business makes about the quality of a product or how it will fix any problems with a product or service.

Contracts

When you buy products or services from a trader, you are entering into a contract. Before you do, make sure you understand what you are agreeing to.

Buying parallel imports

Parallel imports (also called grey or direct imports) are products that you buy from a seller who does not have specific permission from the manufacturer to sell those products in the Australian marketplace.

Buying tickets to events

When consumers buy tickets to events, they have rights under consumer law. Ticket selling businesses must ensure they follow their obligations under consumer law.

Not receiving products or services that are paid for

If businesses can’t supply the product or service that a consumer has paid for, then the business must provide a solution.

Receiving unrequested products or services

There are rules when a business tries to charge a consumer or another business for products or services they didn’t ask for.

Telemarketing and door-to-door sales

Consumers have rights when a salesperson approaches them at the front door, over the phone, or in a public place. These sales methods are known as unsolicited consumer agreements.

Unfair business practices

The Australian Consumer Law protects consumers from certain unfair behaviour by businesses that sell products and services.