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Over 50% of Australians confident in their consumer rights: 60 years of CHOICE

CHOICE opens doors for special tours and releases the CHOICE Consumer Rights Guide for 2020.

A new survey from consumer advocate CHOICE has found a majority (54%) of Australians are confident in using the Australian Consumer Law but CHOICE says this is no cause for complacency.

Survey data (embeddable) here: https://infogram.com/consumer-rights-confidence-1h7g6kvv9lpw4oy?live

The news comes as the non-profit consumer advocate celebrates 60 years, inviting members of the public on special laboratory tours and releases the CHOICE Consumer Rights Guide on World Consumer Rights Day.

"When a group of volunteers came together to form CHOICE 60 years ago, there was no Australian Consumer Law. It was very much a case of buyer beware - if something went wrong, it fell to you to fight it out with a business."

"Today, thanks to campaigning by groups like CHOICE, the community has more rights and it’s great to see that a majority of Australians feel comfortable using them," says Alan Kirkland, CEO of CHOICE.

"It’s great to see in the survey results that Australians are even more confident on specifics - asking for refunds, managing their energy and water usage and negotiating prices."

"That doesn’t mean our job is done. With 46% of the population not feeling confident asserting their rights, we’ve still got plenty of work to do. Not only do we need to help people understand the law; we continue to fight for better protection in markets like banking, health insurance and baby products. The fact that we’re still fighting the finance industry over the important recommendations of the banking royal commission demonstrates why it’s so important to have an independent consumer advocate like CHOICE."

CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland and Consumer Advocate Jonathan Brown will be available for interviews while members of the public tour CHOICE. Contact the CHOICE media team to arrange filming and photographic opportunities at our Marrickville labs.

To help people who feel less confident in their consumer rights, CHOICE has released the 2020 CHOICE Consumer Rights Guide. The guide gives Australians 5 practical things they can do right now to take charge of their consumer rights.

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CHOICE Consumer Advocate and guide author Jonathan Brown says the guide is about making consumer rights accessible to all Australians.

"One of the things we love about working at CHOICE is sharing what we learn with our family and friends," says Brown.

"As a CHOICE staff member, it’s not uncommon you become the consumer rights oracle for the people you love. The 2020 CHOICE Consumer Rights Guide is about sharing that feeling with all Australians, taking the consumer law and helping you apply it in real life. It comes from the advice we give our loved ones on how to best use their consumer rights."

The guide is available as a downloadable PDF from CHOICE.com.au/ConsumerRights2020 - and is available on Dropbox for media to provide on their own sites: https://shwca.se/CHOICE60

CHOICE Consumer Advocate Jonathan Brown is available for interview regarding the 2020 CHOICE Consumer Rights Guide.

CHOICE is a non-profit consumer advocacy organisation celebrating 60 years in 2020 and supported by over 170,000 members. Australians can support CHOICE by becoming a member: choice.com.au/2020Join

60 Years of CHOICE is a celebration being held throughout 2020 starting with World Consumer Rights Day (March 15), a special lecture dedicated to founding member Ruby Hutchison (March 17) held in collaboration with the ACCC and a special 60th anniversary of CHOICE Magazine in April.

CHOICE will be sharing highlights of its rich history advocacy, testing, journalism and campaigns throughout 2020.

Media contact: Katelyn Cameron, media@choice.com.au, 0430 172 669

Editor’s note:

Research was conducted through Dynata's Omnibus solution, OmniPulse, with a national sample of 1,004 adults aged 18+, census balanced to be representative of the Australian population. Conducted 28th Feb - 1 Mar, 2020.

A special 60 years of CHOICE liftout is available on Dropbox along with historical photos, videos and more: https://shwca.se/CHOICE60

An infographic of the Consumer Rights Guide 2020 tips is available here:
https://infogram.com/consumer-rights-guide-2020-1hd12yzznk9l4km?live
 

Quotes on Consumer Rights Guide 2020

Attributable to CHOICE Consumer Advocate Jonathan Brown:

1. Play the market

"Too many businesses take advantage of our loyalty. If you’ve been with any company for a while now, call them up and ask for a better deal. You’d be surprised how much you can save with a couple of phone calls."

2. Keep records

"Your consumer rights should be easy to use, but the reality is that good record keeping makes it a lot easier. The great thing in 2020 is that mobile apps and email programs make it easier than ever to take a quick photo or make short note you can search for later."

3. Know your rights

"Different companies might need different approaches. I’ve seen companies play legal games for months or years over a consumer issue, only to fold the moment you say you’ll go public. Whereas some companies respond to formality and others will respond to an authority like a regulator. The key is to know what your rights are, to be assertive and confident."

4. Use your voice

"Over 60 years CHOICE has campaigned with Australians for better consumer rights. We need to work together more than ever to make sure the products and services we buy are safe and fair."

5. Beat the tricks

"Simple initiatives like the do not knock sign and do not call register can make a big difference, especially for Australians who are vulnerable to pressure sales and sneaky tactics. Help sign up your friends and family members now."