UPSET consumers in NSW will soon be able to save time and money and have disputes with businesses dealt with quickly and without going to court or a tribunal thanks to new Fair Trading powers.
A bill is currently before Parliament which will give the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner the power to direct a business to repair, replace or refund goods.
“This means fair, quick and cheap resolutions for consumers and businesses, and will be an alternative to the often costly process of courts and tribunals,” said Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean
Consumers were often confused about their rights; and disputes still accounted for more than 20 per cent of legal problems experienced by people in NSW, he said
The 2016 Australian Consumer Survey also found 76 per cent of people reported a problem within the first six months of purchasing a good.
“Ideally consumers and businesses work together to resolve issues directly; however, when this fails, Fair Trading works with them to help solve the problem,” Mr Kean said.
“If a resolution is still not possible, rather than the case going to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal or being dropped, consumers can now seek a direction that the trader repair, replace or refund the good.
“This is about enhancing Fair Trading’s existing powers to get the very best outcome for consumers across NSW, and give businesses certainty around their obligations under Australian consumer law,” said Mr Kean
The Commissioner’s power to make directions will be focused on goods worth between $25 and $3,000, with the reforms taking effect from January 1.