Businesses, including not-for-profit businesses, have obligations under the Australian Consumer Law when selling goods and services to consumers with disability or to participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
It is important that you treat consumers fairly and take particular care when dealing with consumers that may be disadvantaged or vulnerable.
Here are some tips to help you do the right thing.
Be clear about what products or services you are selling and what you are charging. A contract/service agreement can protect your business from misunderstandings so make sure you include all the important details, and make sure that consumers understand the contract before they sign it.
Contracts can be verbal too – so if you or your staff promise something you need to deliver it.
Communication with customers
Any advertising material or statements you make must be truthful and accurate. You cannot rely on small print or disclaimers to justify a misleading overall message.
Be aware of your obligations when using direct marketing like door-to-door or telemarketing:
- There are certain days and times when you must not contact consumers.
- Consumers have a 10-day cooling-off period.
You must not unduly harass or coerce consumers or engage in unconscionable conduct. This includes repetitive unnecessary or excessive contact or by using force (actual or threatened) that restricts another person’s choice or freedom to act.
You must not demand payment for goods or services the consumer did not request or that you did not supply.
The goods or services you supply to a consumer come with automatic guarantees. This means they must be safe, work correctly and meet promises made about the condition, performance and quality. People delivering services must have the appropriate skills, experience and qualifications. As a business you must honour these guarantees. If a guarantee is not met you must provide a remedy such as a refund, repair or replacement.
As a business you can refuse to provide a refund if the consumer has changed their mind.
See the guide for suppliers to help businesses selling to and supplying consumers with disability.