CHOICE - Shopping and legal and trusted tests, investigations and buying guides to help you save money when you are shopping and knowing your rights from CHOICE Australia. Copyright 2014, 22 Dec 2014 01:14:53 GMTMoneyThe trouble with gift cards

We look at some of the problems with gifts cards, and CHOICE members share which gift cards they'd like Santa to bring for Christmas.

Shopping and legalTue, 09 Dec 2014 16:11:00 GMT
Your rights when shopping at Christmas

Want to know where you stand when it comes to a gift that doesn't do what it says on the box? Wondering if that too-good-to-be-true offer is a Christmas scam? These tips and tricks could help you shop smart during the silly season.

Shopping and legalFri, 28 Nov 2014 13:40:00 GMT
Best international postal service

We've reviewed five international postal services to send your Christmas parcels, and compared them for cost, ease of booking and delivery time.

Shopping and legalMon, 10 Nov 2014 12:55:00 GMT
Renters' rights you didn't know you had

Another rent increase? Being evicted without grounds? Find out what your rights are.

Shopping and legalThu, 30 Oct 2014 16:36:00 GMT
Trans-Pacific Partnership secretly trading away rights

Leaked drafts of the secretive TPP agreement indicate that consumer rights and protections, food labelling and affordable medication are all up for grabs.

Shopping and legalFri, 24 Oct 2014 16:43:00 GMT
Lowest price and price-match guarantees

In many cases, a lowest-price guarantee isn't actually guaranteeing the lowest price.

Shopping and legalWed, 24 Sep 2014 12:06:00 GMT
The cost of weddings

CHOICE investigates if couples planning a wedding get quoted higher prices than other consumers, for exactly the same thing.

Shopping and legalThu, 28 Aug 2014 09:29:00 GMT
Coles' partnership with GE Capital raises concerns

With supermarket giant Coles announcing a looming joint venture with credit provider GE Capital, consumers could be getting more than they bargained for when they signed up for flybuys.

Shopping and legalThu, 31 Jul 2014 17:40:00 GMT
Know your consumer rights

Australian consumers are automatically protected by guarantees which give consumers the rights they expect when they buy goods and services.

Shopping and legalMon, 14 Jul 2014 14:58:00 GMT
Unit pricing rules not always followed

Tricky packaging and labelling are a big part of how businesses sell products these days. Unit pricing is supposed to help you look past the marketing to compare prices and find the best value for money.

Shopping and legalMon, 14 Jul 2014 10:11:00 GMT
Discount diva: how to live it up for less

Want to save money while still enjoying the finer things in life? CHOICE journalist Zoya Sheftalovich is a discount queen for a week.

Shopping and legalWed, 02 Jul 2014 17:10:00 GMT
Unfair contracts

A contract is a legally enforceable agreement. If it's a standard form contract you are expected to sign or click I AGREE. But if one of the terms are unfair, you might have a right to have the term declared void.

Shopping and legalTue, 17 Jun 2014 17:16:00 GMT
Rental rights

From no-grounds evictions to limited leases, we learn that long-term rental security is almost non-existent for Australian tenants.

Shopping and legalThu, 12 Jun 2014 16:48:00 GMT
Consumer harassment and coercion

Businesses can't force you into buying goods or services that you don't want.

Shopping and legalTue, 10 Jun 2014 16:13:00 GMT
Unsolicited supplies

If you receive goods or services that you didn't order, you don't have to pay for them.

Shopping and legalTue, 10 Jun 2014 09:05:00 GMT
Selling and trading your things online

We've all got stuff we no longer want, need or use taking up space around the house. So how do you get the most of your useless junk?

Shopping and legalWed, 04 Jun 2014 10:24:00 GMT
Pyramid schemes

Pyramid schemes are illegal schemes that promise wealth but depend on an endless supply of new members. You're taking a big risk with your money if you invest in a pyramid scheme.

Shopping and legalWed, 21 May 2014 17:27:00 GMT
Pricing problems

What happens when a retailer displays more than one price? What can I do about misleading prices?

Shopping and legalTue, 13 May 2014 16:05:00 GMT
Telemarketers and door-to-door sales

What rights do you have when a telemarketer calls you and tries to sell you something you don't want, or a salesperson knocks on your door and tries the hard sell?

Shopping and legalFri, 09 May 2014 16:20:00 GMT
Buying cheaper clothing online

Blocked from shopping at your favourite overseas online clothes store? There are ways to get around it.

Shopping and legalTue, 22 Apr 2014 08:55:00 GMT
One cent and penny auction investigation

CHOICE looks into reports of dodgy dealings in online penny auctions, where you seemingly win items for low prices, but may end up paying more than you bargained for.

Shopping and legalTue, 15 Apr 2014 09:41:00 GMT
The problems with ticketing

We investigate the problems associated with buying tickets through agents, cinemas, and from scalpers.

Shopping and legalFri, 28 Mar 2014 09:46:00 GMT
Wine and coffee mark-ups

When you choose a bottle of wine in a restaurant you could be paying up to 250% more than if you BYO. How do restaurants justify this price hike?

Shopping and legalWed, 26 Mar 2014 14:48:00 GMT
Extended warranties

Consumers are already covered by the Australian Consumer Law's automatic guarantees, so do you need an extended warranty too?

Shopping and legalThu, 27 Feb 2014 09:42:00 GMT
Fit for purpose?

Consumers buy products that don’t do what they should on a daily basis, so what are your rights when it comes to getting what you paid for?

Shopping and legalMon, 16 Dec 2013 12:03:00 GMT
The five scams of Christmas

Christmas is a once-a-year opportunity to scam consumers out of their money. Scams cost Australians $93m last year, plenty of which targeted holiday shoppers. We take a look at some of the worst offenders.

Shopping and legalWed, 04 Dec 2013 14:34:00 GMT
Shopping centre design

CHOICE investigates the tricks of the trade behind shopping centre design, and how these are encourage you to stay longer and shop more.

Shopping and legalTue, 03 Dec 2013 12:45:00 GMT
Consumer law and extended warranties

A CHOICE shadow shop reveals that sales staff at Australia’s biggest electronics retailers have a limited or no understanding of their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.

Shopping and legalWed, 27 Nov 2013 12:08:00 GMT
Interest-free shopping offers

Long-term payment deals can cost you hundreds of dollars in fees alone, even if you pay everything off within the interest-free period.

Shopping and legalMon, 18 Nov 2013 17:08:00 GMT
Sustainable shopping bags

The latest in the war on plastic.

Shopping and legalWed, 06 Nov 2013 11:49:00 GMT
Companies that are difficult to contact

CHOICE is asking companies to make their contact details more accessible, after finding some businesses are playing hard to get.

Shopping and legalMon, 04 Nov 2013 13:38:00 GMT
How to save on international phone calls

Keeping up with friends and family overseas can be expensive, so we show you how to cut your phone bill.

Shopping and legalTue, 15 Oct 2013 16:42:00 GMT
Counterfeit goods

Knock-off products are no longer easily identified by misspelled logos and shoddy craftsmanship. While the quality of counterfeit products appears to be improving, the counterfeiters are also getting smarter at marketing their products.

Shopping and legalThu, 12 Sep 2013 00:01:00 GMT
Duty-free shopping

Deals in airport duty-free shops may not be the best offer in town.

Shopping and legalWed, 11 Sep 2013 12:34:00 GMT
Franchisee rights

For consumers, franchises can be a dependable port of call in a crowded marketplace. But many Australians have paid dearly for signing on the dotted line to run their own franchise outlet, generally because they were led to believe one thing but working for a franchisor turned out to be another.

Shopping and legalThu, 22 Aug 2013 09:41:00 GMT
Make the most of your representatives

It can be easy to forget that politicians' purpose is to represent their constituents - you. So what is it exactly that politicians do, and how can you get them to represent you?

Shopping and legalTue, 13 Aug 2013 17:28:00 GMT
Customer service online online.aspx

Which of these online stores has the best customer service and returns policy?

Shopping and legalTue, 13 Aug 2013 10:56:00 GMT
Pet premiums costs.aspx

Costs for vet service can vary widely, and it doesn't help that there are no standard fee guidelines. Most vets no doubt deserve your trust, but with corporate vet franchises on the rise, upselling and overcharging are legitimate consumer concerns.

Shopping and legalMon, 22 Jul 2013 12:20:00 GMT
Kids' sports fees

A healthy cut of junior soccer fees gets siphoned off to pay for elite regional teams. It's all about growing the game - but there's little or no support going back to the juniors.

Shopping and legalWed, 17 Jul 2013 15:56:00 GMT
Competition tricks and traps

You may find yourself getting more than you bargained for when you enter a competition

Shopping and legalThu, 27 Jun 2013 08:11:00 GMT
Faded receipts receipts.aspx

We look at your rights when it comes to receipts that have faded and what you can do to prevent them from fading.

Shopping and legalMon, 13 May 2013 16:17:00 GMT
Consumer sharing

Consumer sharing is growing in popularity to meet today’s buyer demands. It’s energy efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective, and it’s now easier than ever.

Shopping and legalTue, 23 Apr 2013 09:07:00 GMT
Shopping loyalty cards

CHOICE found that most loyalty programs offer such poor rewards you generally save less than a dollar per $100 spent.

Shopping and legalThu, 11 Apr 2013 09:49:00 GMT
Who owns my brands?

Find out which multinationals own the brands sitting on the shelves of your local supermarket.

Shopping and legalTue, 09 Apr 2013 15:22:00 GMT
Celebrity endorsements

Celebrities have been spruiking products for years. We look at the persuasive power of these endorsements, and whether they're all just hot air.

Shopping and legalWed, 13 Mar 2013 17:12:00 GMT
Cause for concern?

The fundraising industry says personalised pens, pad, and address labels are an effective marketing ploy for inspiring generosity, but potential donors tell a different story.

Shopping and legalFri, 08 Mar 2013 09:40:00 GMT
Outsourcing household chores

We check out how you can outsource various household chores, such as cleaning, dogwalking and general home maintenance, to ease the squeeze on your work-life balance.

Shopping and legalMon, 04 Mar 2013 15:54:00 GMT
Your guide to self-storage

With a trend towards high-density living, more Australians are turning to self-storage as a short- or long-term solution for lack of space.

Shopping and legalTue, 26 Feb 2013 11:56:00 GMT
Wrap rage

Some types of packaging are impossible to open for certain consumers and may even inflict injury. We've uncovered the main offenders.

Shopping and legalMon, 18 Feb 2013 14:25:00 GMT
Pricing tricks

Whether you’re doing the grocery shopping or looking a mobile phone deal, get the best value for money every time avoiding top pricing tricks.

Shopping and legalFri, 01 Feb 2013 14:57:00 GMT
Review websites

While consumers like to buy things that have been reviewed and recommended by others, we find you can't always trust the recommendations you find online.

Shopping and legalWed, 23 Jan 2013 17:30:00 GMT
Living wills

With Australians living longer and often facing a drawn-out decline, being clear about your future healthcare plans is more important than ever.

Shopping and legalTue, 22 Jan 2013 16:21:00 GMT
How can ombudsman services help you?

Consumers have a lot to gain from understanding how ombudsman services operate and how the complaint process works.

Shopping and legalWed, 28 Nov 2012 14:09:00 GMT
Quality vs price

We pit a low-, medium- and high-end moisturiser, hair dryer and pair of men's underpants against each other in a user trial, and speak to experts about the results.

Shopping and legalTue, 27 Nov 2012 15:53:00 GMT
Private car park fines

Some private car park operators have been slapping motorists with bogus “fines” and threatening legal action if they don’t pay up.

Shopping and legalTue, 02 Oct 2012 14:31:00 GMT
Customer service shadow shop

How do Australia's bricks and mortar retailers stack up when it comes to customer service? We shadow shop Australia's 10 most popular retailers.

Shopping and legalWed, 26 Sep 2012 06:00:00 GMT
The rise of aroma marketing

Scent marketing is increasingly being used to draw consumers back into bricks-and-mortars stores.

Shopping and legalWed, 15 Aug 2012 10:15:00 GMT
Parallel imports

How can some products look, taste and function the same, yet vary so markedly in price from their mainstream, retail counterparts?

Shopping and legalTue, 19 Jun 2012 08:52:00 GMT
Rent payment schemes

Third-party rent payment schemes force tenants to pay for rent collection, and the fees can really add up.

Shopping and legalThu, 07 Jun 2012 15:39:00 GMT
Tackling call centres

If you have a speech impediment, disability or an aversion to technology, call centres can cause you a lot of grief.

Shopping and legalWed, 30 May 2012 13:24:00 GMT
Finding a removalist

In 2011, Fair Trading NSW received 300 complaints about removalists – more than one every working day on average.

Shopping and legalFri, 25 May 2012 11:35:00 GMT
Mother's Day home test

We decided to give our lab testers the day off and asked CHOICE member (and mum!), Monique Brunello, to be our home tester and look at some gift ideas for mums.

Shopping and legalFri, 11 May 2012 10:42:00 GMT
The cut flower industry

We outline some concerns around imported cut flowers that might make you re-think that beautiful bouquet.

Shopping and legalWed, 09 May 2012 16:10:00 GMT
Shopping for plus-size clothes

Plus-size clothing is limited and expensive for Australians despite there being a demand.

Shopping and legalMon, 26 Mar 2012 09:55:00 GMT
Australian Consumer Law

The newly introduced Australian Consumer Law gives consumers better protection when purchasing than ever before.

Shopping and legalFri, 23 Dec 2011 12:09:00 GMT
Unwanted Christmas gifts

Our survey finds, a whopping 21% of items purchased as Christmas presents fall short on performance.

Shopping and legalWed, 21 Dec 2011 13:15:00 GMT
In the dark on interest-free deals

CHOICE looked at some interest-free payment offers available with six major retailers, and sent a shadow shopper to the stores.

Shopping and legalTue, 20 Dec 2011 17:06:00 GMT
Christmas gifts for the traveller

We pick fun and handy products that will make great Christmas presents for anyone who loves to travel.

Shopping and legalFri, 16 Dec 2011 09:03:00 GMT
Work-from-home scams

Work-from-home offers can be tempting, but they can make you vulnerable to identity theft. We reveal the top five scams, and explain how to protect yourself from them.

Shopping and legalTue, 29 Nov 2011 16:25:00 GMT
Christmas gifts for the keen cook

CHOICE picks the kitchen gadgets that will make great Christmas presents for anyone who loves to cook.

Shopping and legalTue, 29 Nov 2011 10:21:00 GMT
Excess package

The amount of packaging material in the postal system is piling up as more and more people do their shopping online.

Shopping and legalThu, 24 Nov 2011 16:01:00 GMT
Christmas gifts for the gadget fan

We round up the best technology buys, from tablets, to televisions, to MP3 players, to eBook readers.

Shopping and legalWed, 23 Nov 2011 10:53:00 GMT
Christmas gift guide 2011

From digital cameras to kitchen gadgets, our gift ideas cater to all budgets.

Shopping and legalWed, 16 Nov 2011 11:04:00 GMT
High postage paid

Australians appear to be paying more than consumers in NZ, the US, UK and further afield for staple services such as international postage.

Shopping and legalMon, 22 Aug 2011 15:24:00 GMT
Retailer tricks of the trade

Online shopping is often quicker and cheaper, but bricks-and-mortars retailers have a few tricks that keep us coming back.

Shopping and legalTue, 02 Aug 2011 10:23:00 GMT
Shopping online for overseas goods

Buying from foreign retailers has netted Australians big discounts. We look into the current state of play for online shopping.

Shopping and legalWed, 06 Jul 2011 17:50:00 GMT
Pitfalls for tall consumers

Tall consumers are getting the short end of the stick in everything from buying clothes to travelling on planes, trains and in cars.

Shopping and legalThu, 23 Jun 2011 17:32:00 GMT
Bargain book buys

Chain, independent or online book retailers – we size up the options.

Shopping and legalTue, 05 Apr 2011 10:32:00 GMT
Resolving a financial complaint

Dealing directly with banks and other financial services providers to resolve disputes is usually more effective than taking the matter to court.

Shopping and legalThu, 17 Mar 2011 10:44:00 GMT
Savings at the cinema

With movie ticket and candy bar prices continuing to rise, can a night at the movies be affordable?

Shopping and legalThu, 10 Mar 2011 15:44:00 GMT
Funeral costs

CHOICE found that funeral costs fluctuate wildly. We highlight ways to get a fair deal.

Shopping and legalWed, 09 Feb 2011 16:08:00 GMT
High tech shopping

CHOICE takes a closer look at the high-tech devices in supermarkets now, and those on the way.

Shopping and legalThu, 20 Jan 2011 15:23:00 GMT
Mother's Day guide

Our busy mums are faced with a myriad of decisions every day. We believe they should have the best advice at their fingertips this Mothers' Day.

Shopping and legalFri, 24 Dec 2010 15:34:00 GMT
Group buying websites

Some of the best consumer bargains can be found online through coupon websites.

Shopping and legalThu, 25 Nov 2010 09:00:00 GMT
Charity Christmas cards

Buying direct from the charity is often a better way to get your money direct to the good cause.

Shopping and legalThu, 04 Nov 2010 16:01:00 GMT
Cash for gold

CHOICE visited 10 gold-buying shops in Sydney with a ring and two necklaces, and was offered between 39% and 89% of the gold value for the items.

Shopping and legalWed, 20 Oct 2010 14:53:00 GMT
Drycleaning dramas

Inaccurate care labels could be at the heart of many drycleaning mishaps.

Shopping and legalFri, 08 Oct 2010 12:10:00 GMT
What annoys Australians?

Hidden fees, faulty products, endless phone menus - Australians' biggest complaints are consumer and/or product-related.

Shopping and legalFri, 01 Oct 2010 12:34:00 GMT
Made in Australia? in australia.aspx

Current labelling laws are broad and inconsistent even within the same industry. Country of origin and other claims, mixed with marketing hype, are confusing shoppers.

Shopping and legalMon, 30 Aug 2010 19:57:00 GMT
Movies on the cheap

We outline the benefits and pitfalls so you can find which way saves you money.

Shopping and legalTue, 10 Aug 2010 09:46:00 GMT
Spectacles buying guide

Our price guide takes you through the confusing array of extras and options to explain exactly what you need to look for when shopping for specs.

Shopping and legalFri, 02 Jul 2010 14:17:00 GMT
Bottleshop prices

See our CHOICE price comparison of wine, beer and spirit prices at a number of different outlets.

Shopping and legalMon, 31 May 2010 14:00:00 GMT
Will kits

An up-to-date, detailed will is essential for protecting your loved ones. We look at the basics you need to have covered.

Shopping and legalWed, 24 Mar 2010 12:30:00 GMT
CHOICE 50th anniversary

From the sixties through to the noughties, CHOICE TV captures all the highlights.

Shopping and legalTue, 23 Mar 2010 16:40:00 GMT
Know your rights

What can you do when you know you’re getting a raw deal, but don't know what to do about it? Read on.

Shopping and legalTue, 12 Jan 2010 13:22:00 GMT
Weddings - at what price?

This year Australian couples are expected to spend an estimated $3.7 billion on their big day - but can you be sure you're paying what you should?

Shopping and legalThu, 10 Dec 2009 11:12:00 GMT
Best online shopping sites

We save you time and effort by bringing you a list of the best online sites for books and CDS, clothes, electronics, as well as as cosmetics and fragrances.

Shopping and legalTue, 10 Nov 2009 15:29:00 GMT
Hidden fees in phone cards

Extra costs, such as “service” fees that gobble up credit even when you’re not making calls are often not advertised on the posters or phone cards.

Shopping and legalFri, 25 Sep 2009 11:17:00 GMT
Cashbacks not always a good deal

Retail and manufacturing marketing execs are certainly onto a winner with cashback schemes, but consumer benefit is not as guaranteed.

Shopping and legalSat, 13 Dec 2008 10:36:00 GMT
Duty-free is it worth it?

Duty-free shopping was one of the perks of travelling overseas. The introduction of GST saw a whole raft taxes phased out, so is still good value?

Shopping and legalTue, 23 Aug 2005 11:42:00 GMT