By: Justin Rouillon
As Mother’s Day approaches, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman has encouraged anyone buying their mum a gift to remember their consumer rights.
“Whether you are looking to buy your mum a gift online or in store for Mother’s Day, it’s important you know your consumer rights,” Minister Fentiman said.
“Gift cards are very popular on Mother’s Day for those mums who say they don’t need anything, and shoppers can take comfort from the fact that most gift cards must have a minimum three-year expiry period with the end date clearly displayed on the card.
“If you’re buying a more expensive item, it’s a good idea to take some time to check and compare pricing, especially for jewellery.”
Some traders use a marketing technique called ‘was/now pricing’, stating that an item’s price has been reduced. This type of marketing can make you rush a purchase because you think you are making big savings.
While this is a legitimate way for traders to advertise, it is a breach of the consumer law if the product had never been marketed for that price in the first place.
Minister Fentiman advised Queenslanders to always check a trader’s returns and refund policy if they are not 100 per cent sure about a gift. And if buying online, they should make sure they know where they are buying from and check delivery timeframes.
“A little research before committing to purchasing can go a long way, and no one wants their mum to miss out on their Mother’s Day gift arriving,” she said.
“If the gift is faulty, breaks down, doesn’t do what it is supposed to do or is just not what you ordered, you have rights and the trader must help rectify the issue.
“However, if you want to return the gift because mum doesn’t like it or you’ve changed your mind, then you aren’t automatically entitled to a refund under the Australian Consumer Law and you will need to rely on the trader’s returns and refunds policy.”
General tips the OFT recommends you keep in mind when shopping for your Mother’s Day present both instore and online are:
- always read the terms and conditions, especially regarding delivery timeframes and whether any cut off times apply for peak periods
- check the trader’s refund or return policy, remember a change of mind does not entitle you to a refund under the law, so choose wisely
- keep documents such as your receipt and order confirmation; and
- shop around and compare items before committing to a purchase. Ask friends and family for recommendations or do a quick online search for reviews before making a purchase, especially if you have never shopped with the trader previously.
If consumers have issues with goods or services purchased from a business the OFT encourages them to approach the trader in the first instance to try and resolve the matter.
If this is unsuccessful, they can lodge a complaint with the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Article supplied with thanks to 96five.