If you buy or hire goods and services through an online marketplace or sharing economy platform, you are protected by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), in the same way as you would be if you were to buy in store.
Traders are protected by the ACL and also have obligations to consumers, like guaranteeing that the services and goods they’re providing comply with the law.
Consumers – If you buy goods and services
Your rights don’t change if you hire goods or buy services online, through an app or sharing platform, or if you make in-store purchases. You have consumer guarantee rights.
If there is a problem:
- Check the platform’s terms and conditions and their complaint management process, if they have one.
- You may be able to cancel the contract and get a refund if a consumer guarantee isn’t met
Follow these simple steps to resolve the issue:
- speak to the seller or service provider
- contact the platform through their internal dispute resolution process, if they have one
- write a factual customer review and rate the trader on the platform
- contact Consumer and Business Services for advice if the matter isn’t resolved with the platform and/or trader.
Traders – If you hire or sell goods and services
- platform operators must not mislead or deceive you
- you have consumer guarantee rights when buying services from a platform operator
- there are certain circumstances where it is illegal for a platform operator to refuse to supply you
- you can refuse to provide a refund if the consumer has simply changed their mind.
If you believe a consumer has not held up their end of a contract for a good or service, some platforms have their own internal resolution process to deal with this. Read your platform’s community rules and internal resolution process guidelines.
Contact Consumer and Business Services for advice if you aren’t able to resolve a problem with the platform or consumer first.
- Be transparent about the product or service you are advertising so there are no surprises to consumers
- Avoid misleading or deceptive statements
- Make sure reviews provided about your service or product are not misleading or fake
- You must comply with product safety obligations.