December 2018 – CHOICE submission to the Australian Energy Regulator on the Default Market Offer Price
CHOICE is campaigning for better, safer, fairer default energy offers. We support the introduction of default energy offers, and are calling on the Australian Energy Regulator to ensure that the design of these offers is affordable and effective.
October 2018 – Human Rights and Technology
CHOICE's response to the Australian Human Rights Commission Issues Paper on 'Human Rights and Technology' outlines how technology can be used by businesses to unfairly discriminate and harm people. We call on the AHRC to investigate existing and emerging issues across insurance, finance, renting, energy and data, and outline the need for new, improved legislation.
October 2018 – CHOICE submission to Treasury on the Consumer Data Right – Second Stage
CHOICE called for a CDR system that is simple to navigate and delivers equitable outcomes for consumers. We advocated for greater consumer protections, and supported increased powers for the ACCC.
October 2018 – Improving Consumer Protections in the Consumer Data Right
CHOICE made comments on the ACCC's proposed Rules Framework. We supported free access to designated data sets, strong standards for consent, and protections that prevent businesses from unfairly discriminating against consumers using CDR data.
October 2018 – The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry – Interim Report
CHOICE responded to the Royal Commission's Interim Report. We called for widespread reforms, including changes to the way financial services entities remunerate and reward staff. We also called for an expansion of ASIC's compliance and enforcement toolkit to better enable the regulator to investigate and take action.
October 2018 - The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry - Insurance round
CHOICE responded to the insurance policy questions posed by the Royal Commission. We found a series of systemic failings which industry has failed to deal with through self-regulation. As a response we've called for stronger regulators and consumer protections.
September 2018 – Submission to Treasury on the Consumer Data Right
CHOICE has called for a Consumer Data Right that is consumer-focused, efficient and fair.
September 2018 - The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry - Superannuation round
CHOICE responded to the superannuation policy questions posed by the Royal Commission and also called for the establishment of long-term funding for the Superannuation Consumers' Centre so that people can be represented by a strong independent voice in this important market.
August 2018 – Improving the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code
CHOICE has called for improvements to the TCP Code, to promote better customer service in the industry.
August 2018 – Gift card expiry dates
CHOICE made a submission on draft exposure legislation dealing with gift cards. The legislation will ensure gift cards have a minimum expiry date of three years from the date of supply.
July 2018 – Obesity inquiry submission and Supplementary submission for obesity inquiry
The food and beverage industry play an overly influential role in food and health policy in Australia. CHOICE made two submissions to the Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia to highlight these issues.
July 2018 – Inquiry into class action proceedings
Class actions can provide consumers with access to justice in circumstances where they otherwise could not afford to take action. CHOICE made a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission in support of the class action system.
July 2018 – Regulatory approaches to ensure the safety of pet food
CHOICE responded to the Senate inquiry on improvements to pet food regulations. We recommended that Parliament introduce a mandatory standard for pet food, appoint an independent regulator and improve recall processes.
July 2018 - Protecting Your Superannuation Package response to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee
CHOICE responded to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee into the proposed 'Protecting Your Superannuation' package which would cap fees, auto-consolidate accounts and make insurance within superannuation more appropriate to people's needs.
June 2018 - Protecting Your Superannuation Package response to Treasury
CHOICE responded to a Treasury consultation into the proposed 'Protecting Your Superannuation' package which would cap fees, auto-consolidate accounts and make insurance within superannuation more appropriate to people's needs.
May 2018 – The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry – Financial Advice Hearing
CHOICE responded to the Royal Commission's questions on the financial advice industry. We called for an end to all forms of conflicted remuneration that still persist in the industry, including banning commissions on the sale of life insurance, asset-based fees, and existing grandfathered commissions.
May 2018 – Expiry dates on gift cards
CHOICE and Consumer Action Law Centre made a submission to Treasury, calling for a ban on expiry dates for gift cards, or at least a national version of NSW's ban on expiry dates of less than three years.
May 2018 – NSW Fair Trading Complaints Register
The NSW Complaints Register publishes information about individual traders who are the subject of a high number of complaints and empowers consumers to make informed decisions about where to buy goods and services. CHOICE and Consumer Action Law Centre made a submission in support of the Register, and called for more contextual information about complaints to be released.
April 2018 – Submission to the Independent Review of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012
The GEMS Act is key to helping Australian consumers make informed choices concerning their energy usage. CHOICE called for the expansion of the product portfolio covered by the GEMS Act, increased compliance activities, and harmonisation with international standards that are relevant for Australian consumers.
April 2018 – Preventing discounts on inflated energy rates
CHOICE called for urgent reform to harmful discounting practices, while arguing that the proposed rule change did little to improve consumer outcomes.
April 2018 – Facilitating access to consumer energy data
The implementation of the Consumer Data Right has the potential do drive improved consumer outcomes. CHOICE supports an implementation of a Consumer Data Right that is customer focused, efficient, and fair. CHOICE called for the implementation of the Consumer Data Right to be guided by unified consumer protections, privacy principles, and objectives that ensure consistency across sections.
April 2018 – Clarifying, simplifying and modernising the consumer guarantees
Drawing on feedback from hundreds of consumers, CHOICE made a submission in response to Treasury's consultation Regulatory Impact Statement on proposed changes to the consumer guarantees found in the Australian Consumer Law. CHOICE called for stronger, clearer refund rights in relation to products that experience failures shortly after purchase, and products that experience multiple small failures.
April 2018 – Complaints-handling and record-keeping rules for the National Broadband Network
CHOICE made a submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority on a new complaints-handling standard for the NBN.
April 2018 – The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry – Consumer Lending Hearing
CHOICE responded to the Royal Commission's questions on the consumer lending market, in particular mortgage brokers. We called for an end to conflicted remuneration and the introduction of a best interest duty to protect consumers from conflicted brokers.
March 2018 – Competition in the Australian Financial System: Draft Report submission to the Productivity Commission
CHOICE responded to the Productivity Commission's Draft Report on Competition in the Australian Financial System. We called for reforms in the home loan-market, including abolishing Lender's Mortgage Insurance and introducing a 'best interest' duty for mortgage brokers.
February 2018 – Submission to Australian Energy Regulator: Draft Performance and Reporting Guidelines
CHOICE called for the Australian Energy Regulator to improve performance reporting standards in the energy market. We raised concerns about a lack of detailed data about switching rates, smart meters, pay on time discounts and disconnections.
February 2018 – Proposed package of amendments to the Australian Consumer Law
CHOICE provided comments to Treasury on a range of proposed amendments to the consumer law, particularly focusing on unsolicited sales.
February 2018 – Inquiry into the proliferation of inauthentic Indigenous art
CHOICE provided the Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs with a summary of our investigation into inauthentic Indigenous art and souvenirs, and how difficult it can be for consumers to find the real deal.
February 2018 – The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry
CHOICE drew on the feedback of over 2800 people who had experienced conduct at the hands of banks and financial service providers which fell below these people's standards and expectations. We've called for an end to bank self-regulation as a first response and for better equipped regulators to step in to prevent people being harmed.
January 2018 – Pre-approval of advertisements - the Therapeutic Goods Amendment Bill 2017
CHOICE raised concerns about the Bill's broad number of proposed permitted indications, many of which are not backed by scientific evidence, and the ceasing of the pre-approval process for advertising therapeutic goods.
January 2018 – The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure) Bill 2017
CHOICE wrote to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, to raise concerns about the broad scope of this Bill and the unreasonable administrative burden it will place on not-for-profit advocacy groups.
January 2018 – The 2018-19 Federal Budget
The three key areas CHOICE highlighted in this years' pre-budget submission are private health insurance, housing and airline passengers' rights.