Australian Consumer Rights and Protections
Australian consumer groups claim these rights:
12 Principles of E-Commerce
- Consumers using e-commerce are entitled to at least the same levels of protection provided by the laws and practices that apply to existing forms of commerce.
- Consumers should be able to establish the identity and location of businesses with which they deal.
- Consumers should have this information readily available before and after any purchase of goods and/or services.
- Sellers must state contract terms in clear, simple language.
- Sellers should ensure that they receive confirmed, meaningful consent from consumers for a purchase of goods and/or services.
- Consumers are entitled to receive clear information about the types of payment that will be accepted by the merchant or the payment provider.
- Consumers are entitled to have their complaints and inquiries dealt with fairly and effectively.
- Sellers should provide information to consumers about affordable and effective dispute resolution arrangements (in cases where they are available).
- Sellers must respect customer privacy.
- Industry code administration bodies must closely monitor the application and effectiveness of their codes and be able to correct any deficiencies that are identified.
- Each code-operating body should strive to maintain and promote consumer confidence in the global marketplace.
- Governments should actively develop their consumer protection responsibilities.
Consumer Liability for Misuses of Payment Card
- For transactions involving a card and a personal identification number (PIN): The consumer is liable for the first $50 (Australian) of any unauthorized transaction, unless the misuse stems from the consumer's negligence, in which case the consumer is liable for the total amount.
- For transactions involving a card and no PIN but requiring a signature: The consumer is not liable for any unauthorized transactions.
- For transactions involving a card and no PIN that don't require a signature: Some card issuers hold the merchant liable for unauthorized transactions; however, this is a gray area that should be clarified with the Electronic Funds Transfer code.
Right to Return Goods Purchased over the Internet
Consumers can return goods and choose a refund, repair, or replacement if at least one of these statements is true:
- The goods are not of merchantable quality.
- The goods are defective.
- The goods do not fit their purpose.
- The goods do not fit the description.
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