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Unfair but not illegal: When should the consumer law step in?

CHOICE launches survey asking for experiences of unfair business practices.

At the moment, when a business acts unfairly, there's no law to stop them from doing so. But should there be? That's what consumer group CHOICE is asking Australians in a new survey launched today.

"Currently, there's a big gap in the Australian Consumer Law when it comes to protecting Australians from unfair practices," says CHOICE campaigner Amy Pereira. 

"We want to know whether Australians think unfair business practices should be illegal. We know that there are a number of unfair practices that are really harmful to the community, but they don't fit neatly into the consumer law. This means that Australians aren't protected from these detrimental practices that can leave people feeling powerless and exhausted," says Pereira. 

Australians can share their experiences of being treated unfairly by a business here:

"We really want to know what the Australian community considers to be unfair business practices, and learn about people's personal experiences of unfair treatment," says Pereira.

Some of the unfair practices CHOICE has recently investigated include: 

CHOICE is investigating how an unfair practices prohibition would work under Australian law. The ACCC has previously advocated for such a law.

"Other countries, like the US, UK and Canada have seen great success following the introduction of an unfair practices prohibition, and we think that it could also work incredibly well in Australia," says Pereira. 

"We want Australians to feel secure in the knowledge that businesses will treat them fairly and honestly. People deserve to feel confident that when they purchase a product or a service, they are being treated well," says Pereira. 

"We'd love to hear from as many Australians as possible so CHOICE can advocate for consumer protections that best serve the community's expectations and experiences."

Let us know about your experience of unfair business practices here:

Media contact: Katelyn Cameron, 0430 172 669,