FAIR PRICING RIGHTS FOR CONSUMERS UNDER NEW NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW

FAIR PRICING RIGHTS FOR CONSUMERS UNDER NEW NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW

5 May 2011

Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George today said consumers across the state would benefit from pricing requirements applying to suppliers under national consumer protection legislation.

Mr George said the ground breaking Australian Consumer Law, which commenced on 1 January 2011, replaced inconsistent provisions in 22 state and territory statutes previously in force across the country.

“The new Australian Consumer Law adopts the pre-existing NSW law on multiple pricing,” Mr George said.

“Suppliers who display products with more than one price are compelled to either sell that product for the lowest displayed amount or remove the product from sale.

“The displayed price might include a sticker, a catalogue or advertisement.

“Failing to sell goods for the lowest displayed price can lead to maximum penalties of $5000 for a body corporate and $1000 for an individual.”

Mr George said other key areas brought under standardised national law included component pricing and a consumer’s right to ask for proof of transaction.

“Component pricing, which is often used to mislead consumers about the total cost of goods or services, is now prohibited under national law,” Mr George said.

“Suppliers can’t advertise, promote or state a price that is only part of the cost, unless they also make the total price clear and unambiguous.

“The total cost needs to incorporate all additional amounts, such as taxes, duties, fees, levies or charges.

“Products and services affected by the component pricing requirements include products and services such as airfares, car hire or weekend and public holiday menus at cafes or restaurants.”

Mr George said consumers were also entitled to get a proof of transaction immediately for purchases worth more than $75 or within a week for purchases of less.

“The maximum penalties for failing to comply with single price requirements are $1.1 million for a body corporate and $22,000 for an individual,” Mr George said.

“A proof of transaction document states the supplier’s name, ABN or ACN numbers, date of supply, type of goods or service and price.

“Consumers can request an itemised bill for services showing how the price was calculated including the costs of labour and materials which must be provided within 7 days.”

For more information go to www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577