The new fact sheet, Your consumer rights: Mobile phone handsets issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission explains what consumers can do when they are having problems with their mobile phone handset. 

"The fact sheet highlights that consumers have rights that apply to all purchases, including mobile phones. These rights are statutory - they are set out in the Trade Practices Act and state and territory fair trading laws. They require that the handset must do what it is supposed to do and meet a level of quality and performance appropriate to the phone's price," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.

"If these rights are not met, and the problem wasn't caused by the consumer, then they may be entitled to seek a refund, even outside their contract or the manufacturer's warranty period.

"With around 20 million mobile handsets in circulation, phone suppliers have a responsibility to be good corporate citizens. The ACCC expects them to be up front with their customers, and to honour their rights if they run into problems.
"However, purchasers should bear in mind that the law intends to give businesses and consumers a fair go – it is not designed to protect consumers if they are careless with their phones or have simply changed their minds," Mr Samuel said.

The fact sheet forms part of a suite of fact sheets developed by the ACCC to inform consumers about their rights. Other titles in the series include:

  • Your consumer rights - Consumer protection contains information on the general consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act
  • Your consumer rights - Broadband connection speeds provides information on issues that may affect the speed of a broadband connection and the advertising of broadband speed
  • Your consumer rights - Rent bidding provides tenants with information on the practice of rent bidding and the Trade Practices Act
  • Your consumer rights: Indigenous art and craft includes handy hints for consumers thinking of purchasing Indigenous art and craft
  • Your consumer rights: Environmental claims provides a range of tips to help consumers understand and evaluate some common environmental claims in the context of the Trade Practices Act. 

These fact sheets are available free of charge from the ACCC website or by calling the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502.


  • Your consumer rights: Mobile phone handsets (link removed as item has been retired)