A new survey from CHOICE has revealed that young Australians are most likely to ask for a refund, replacement or repair compared to other age groups.
The survey found that 49% of respondents aged 18 to 34 have asked for a refund, replacement or repair in the last five years because a product did not work or was not what they asked for. Only 24% of respondents aged 65 to 75 had asked for a refund, replacement or repair in the same situation.
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"While we're happy to see 49% of young Australians leading the charge when asking for a refund, replacement or repair, we want all Australians to feel just as confident in exercising their consumer rights when they need to," says CHOICE Director of Campaigns and Communications, Erin Turner.
With the 2021 Boxing Day sales fast approaching, these are our top tips for exercising your consumer rights at any time of the year.
Read the full article on exercising your consumer rights here: www.choice.com.au/useyourrights
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1. Know your rights
"Australian businesses are bound by the Australian Consumer Law," says Turner.
"The Australian Consumer Law was designed to be easy to understand and use. Getting familiar with your rights will give you the confidence to assert them if something goes wrong. If a product doesn't work properly or breaks before it reasonably should, you can get a free fix. Depending on the issue, you'll be owed either a refund, replacement or repair."
Change of mind purchases aren't covered by Australian Consumer Law, avoid the duds this Boxing Day.
2. Don't pay for rights you already have
"Avoid extended warranties," says Turner.
"Businesses will sometimes try to sell you an extended warranty, saying that it's necessary for extra protection. However, in most cases, extended warranties are not worth purchasing. This is because the Australian Consumer Law provides you with consumer guarantees that the products you buy will do what you expect them to do. These consumer guarantees apply even if the product's warranty suggests otherwise."
"If a salesperson is pushing an extended warranty, ask them 'what does this provide me that I don't already get under the Australian Consumer Law?'"
Find out more on extended warranties here.
3. Keep your receipts
"Keeping a record of your purchase is always important, especially for high value purchases," says Turner.
"In the worst case scenario, a company or manufacturer might not respect your consumer rights and you may need to go to a court or a tribunal. If this happens, good record keeping will increase your chances of a good result."
"If you've lost your receipt, don't panic. The ACCC says proof of purchase can include a credit or debit card statement, a lay-by agreement, and even a serial or production number linked with the purchase on the supplier's or manufacturer's database."
4. What to do if something goes wrong
"If you've purchased a shonky product or service, you'll want to get in contact with the company to let them know - the sooner the better," says Turner.
"While this should be enough to get help with a faulty product or service, some companies might be resistant to help. We'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. Some companies show they value their customers by being quick to respond, others wait for a more formal complaint and some will respond to an authority like a regulator. The key is to know what your rights are, to be assertive and confident."
Here's CHOICE's quick tips if you're unhappy with their response:
- Ask to speak to someone more senior, confidently explaining your consumer rights and your expectations.
- Contact your local consumer affairs or fair trading organisation for help.
- The business may be part of a professional body with a code of practice or conduct - the professional body may be able to help.
- Go public. Sometimes sharing your story is the most effective way to get a resolution. This could be on social media, sending a tip to CHOICE or sharing with another media outlet - however, stick to facts you can prove and be clear about what action you would like to see from the business.
You can find CHOICE's step-by-step guide to identifying and resolving issues here.
Choosing to shop more sustainably in Boxing Day sales? Choice has released a new guide on how to shop greener in the Boxing Day sales.
Looking for a bargain on Boxing Day? Check out CHOICE's best shopping tips for the Boxing Day sales.
Pre-recorded interview and infographics available for use here: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/boxingday2021
Media contact: Katelyn Cameron, 0430 172 669, email@example.com