What to consider when using a furniture removalist

Moving house can be a stressful time. Be prepared and ensure your furniture and personal belongings are packed and moved securely so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for.

Get the right quote for you

There are many options when choosing a furniture removalist. Everyone’s needs are different, so it is important to choose a furniture removalist for your specific needs.

Know your needs

Consider the amount of furniture and boxes that will be moved, the distance, if the removalist will have to use stairs and what other services you require, eg packing or unpacking. Understanding what your needs are will enable you to get a quote that is specific to your needs and won’t leave you with any surprises at the end.

Shop around

Shop around and compare quotes with a number of furniture removalists. Get quotes in writing, that way if you decide to move forward with a quote, you are clear about the price and what is included.

It is also a good idea to ask friends or family for recommendations about removalists. Check independent reviews online to find out if other customers have been happy or otherwise with the service they received.

Protect your belongings

A removalist business must take care to avoid damage or loss of your items.

Take photos

Taking photos of your furniture and items, in particular the expensive items, is a good precaution. If you need to seek compensation for issues that the removalist has caused, then having images of your belongings before and after the move will help provide evidence to support your claim.

Insurance

Most removalists will have insurance to protect their own vehicles, however it’s a good idea to take out your own insurance in case your goods are damaged or lost. Consumer guarantees do not apply to things beyond the removalist’s control – e.g. tree branch falling onto the moving truck and damaging the contents. Check whether your current home and contents insurance includes moving to another location, if not consider taking out insurance in case something were to happen to your items when moving.

What are my rights if something goes wrong?

Your removalist service will automatically come with consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law. This means that the service must:

  • Be delivered using due care and skill to avoid loss or damage to your goods
  • Be reasonably fit for any purpose specified by you to the removalist
  • If no time is agreed, be provided within a reasonable time.

You are entitled to a remedy if a consumer guarantee has not been met. For example, receiving compensation for the difference in value between the service delivered and what you paid for.

Speak to the removalist business in the first instance about the problem. If the issue isn’t resolved then put your complaint to them in writing. Outline the problem and what you would like them to do, and give them a reasonable time to respond (e.g. 7 days). If you still have concerns then contact Consumer and Business Services for advice.


Call for compensation – Olympia Travel

Customers of Mr Koutropoulos and Mrs Boufkas of Olympia Express Tourist and Travel are invited to apply for compensation for losses suffered as a result of travel services offered between March 2015 and March 2016.

The Honourable Justice Stanley order consumers be notified of their right to apply for compensation.

The following notice was ordered:

Vasilios Koutropoulos and Mary Boufkas, operators of Olympia Express Tourist and Travel Office, have accepted that they engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in the provision of travel services to consumers since at or around March 2015 in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (SA).

By court order, Mr Koutropoulos and Ms Boufkas must now pay compensation to affected consumers. The purpose of this notice is to invite affected consumers to apply for such compensation.

Should you believe that:

1. you suffered loss as a result of a failure by Mr Koutropoulos or Ms Boufkas to provide travel services to any of the following people: Nickolas Kollis; Effie Kiziridis; George Giakoumis; Athena Karanastasis; Konstantinos Dimopoulos; Saadea Abood; Hefah Abood; Ramzeyeh Al Saeedy; Anastasia Maretis; Angeliki Kotsonis; Fanoula Moutsokapas; Ammar Ateya Twice Al Ghizee; Nicolette Alexia Kourlis; Ann Nikari; Kathy Economos; or Athanasia Nikitas; or

2. you paid money to either Mr Koutropoulos or Ms Boufkas for travel services, for example, but not limited to, airline tickets, travel insurance or hotel bookings, but were not provided with confirmed bookings for those travel services;

Mr Koutropoulos and Ms Boufkas are required to re-pay to you the amount of that loss or the amount paid for those services, less any amount already paid to you by Mr Koutropoulos or Ms Boufkas as a refund or compensation.

Should you, or anyone you know, satisfy the above criteria and wish to obtain compensation please notify Consumer and Business Services by 21 September 2018 on the following contact details.

Consumer and Business Services

GPO BOX 1719

ADELAIDE SA 5001

Consumer and Business Services will then assess your circumstances, seek further information from you and provide your details to Vasilios Koutropoulos and Mary Boufkas so, if appropriate, compensation can be made.

Contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882 with any enquiries on making a claim.


Choose your care. Use your rights.

Recent reforms in aged care give more choice to consumers who wish to remain in their homes. All government funded home care packages are now provided to individual consumers rather than allocated to approved providers. This allows older consumers more flexibility and choice in their care arrangements.

Choosing a provider

If you are assigned a home care package, it’s important to compare providers and find the care that’s best for you.

  • Take your time and ask questions about the products and services on offer.
  • Find out how much the services will cost, including any administration or exit fees that may apply.
  • Read testimonials and independent reviews.
  • Seek advice from a trusted advocate, family member or legal advisor.

Your consumer rights

When you buy goods or services you have rights under the Australian Consumer Law. These rights apply regardless of whether you pay for something yourself or you receive them under a home care package. Your consumer rights are in addition to the rights that you have under the Aged Care laws.

You have the right to:

  • choose your own home care provider
  • not be pressured
  • receive honest and accurate information
  • have services delivered on time and with care
  • receive goods that are of acceptable quality (safe and durable).

If something goes wrong

If the service is not delivered to an acceptable standard or something seems unfair, talk with your provider. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

If the issue is not resolved:

  • In the first instance, contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network for help. Ph 1800 700 600 or visit opan.com.au
  • Contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner if you have any concerns about aged care services provided. Ph 1800 550 552 or visit agedcarecomplaints.gov.au
  • Contact Consumer and Business Services for advice about your consumer rights. Ph 131 882 or visit cbs.sa.gov.au

For more information

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) provides guidance about your consumer rights when using home care. See the guides at accc.gov.au/agedcare


Gift Cards – proposed exemptions

New laws will require most gift cards sold in South Australia to have an expiry date of at least 3 years.

However the law will not apply to gift cards purchased online or over the phone where:

  • the gift card is to be delivered to a consumer’s address outside of SA
  • the consumer who purchased the gift card lives outside SA.

These changes for gift cards have been passed by the SA Parliament. Further information is provided in the background section below.

Consultation on the Regulations

Comments have been sought on the categories of gift cards that will be exempt from the new provisions – e.g. temporary marketing promotions or vouchers supplied for charitable purposes.

Consultation closed on 20 July 2018 and the feedback received is being considered.

Background

The Fair Trading (Gift Cards) Amendment Bill 2018 aims to make gift cards more consumer friendly by providing greater flexibility and certainty for consumers who are often confused by varying rules in relation to gift card expiry dates.

The Bill reduces the detriment caused to consumers when they are forced to redeem gift cards and make purchases that they otherwise might not, simply because of a looming expiry date. It also reduces the financial loss experienced by consumers who do not redeem their gift cards at all, simply because they have been unable to find something that they wish to purchase within the period of time that the gift card is valid.

The Bill eases the pressure placed on consumers by increasing the period of time in which they have to redeem their vouchers, ensuring that they get what they’ve paid for and are more likely to make purchases that they can benefit from.

The Fair Trading (Gift Cards) Amendment Bill 2018 has been passed by the SA Parliament and is available at www.legislation.sa.gov.au


Ticket scalping laws are changing

Under the new laws it will be illegal for anyone to re-sell tickets or advertise the re-sale of tickets at a price that is more than 110% of the original ticket price.

The new laws also create an offence for anyone to use ‘ticket bots’ or other software to purchase tickets to an event. Further information is provided in the background section below.

Consultation on the Regulations

The Government has sought feedback from business and consumers on:

  • The number of tickets that can be sold in one transaction.
  • Events that may be excluded from the new laws.
  • Ticket re-sellers recouping the administrative or transaction costs associated with the original ticket purchase.
  • Software or ‘bots’ used to purchase tickets.

Consultation closed on 20 July 2018. The feedback received will be considered when the regulations are drafted.

Background

New reforms have been introduced into Parliament that aim to increase consumer protections around ticket scalping for a range of popular sporting and entertainment events in South Australia.

The Fair Trading (Ticket Scalping) Amendment Bill 2018 has been introduced into Parliament and is available to view at www.legislation.sa.gov.au


Takata airbags – compulsory recall

A compulsory recall of all vehicles with defective Takata airbags commenced on 1 March 2018, following a safety investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The recall affects a large number of car makes and models, and a small number of motorcycles and trucks.

Faulty Takata airbags have caused serious injuries and deaths. A design flaw with the inflator components means that they may deteriorate and deploy with too much force in an incident, causing metal fragments to propel out of the airbag.

2.7 million vehicles have been captured by voluntary recalls, which were conducted by suppliers. A further 1.3 million vehicles have been captured under the compulsory recall. The presence of defective Takata airbags on South Australian roads puts consumers at risk.

The compulsory recall requires suppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags to replace all defective Takata airbags in Australian vehicles by 31 December 2020 (or later in some instances if approved by the ACCC). Some vehicles will be recalled immediately, and others on a rolling basis, scheduled based on various factors including relative safety risk. This means that not all vehicles will be recalled straight away.

Consumers are strongly urged to check whether their vehicle has been recalled. If a consumer finds that their vehicle is under active recall, then they are urged to contact the supplier to arrange replacement of the affected Takata airbag as soon as possible.

It is critical that drivers with alpha airbags installed, around 25,000 in Australia, take immediate steps to have the airbags replaced as these pose the highest safety risk.

Please visit the Product Safety Australia website to check if your vehicle is under an active or future recall.

More information


The savvy consumer booklet – CBS news

The savvy consumer publication - a guide to your rights when buying goods and servicesWe’re all consumers. Sometimes we make big purchases like a car or caravan, but then there are lots of smaller purchases we make like going to the movies or buying new pillows and towels.

A new edition of The Savvy Consumer booklet has been launched to provide helpful advice to all consumers.

Topics covered in the booklet are:

  • Smart shopping – including purchasing mobile phones, travel, cars
  • Door to door sales and telemarketing
  • Refund rights
  • Home repairs and renovations
  • Avoiding scams
  • Product safety
  • Fixing a problem.

Download the savvy consumer (PDF 1.72MB)

Order a free printed copy

 


Ride or accommodation sharing – CBS news

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.

Transcript – the sharing economy – introduction (DOC 13KB)

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.

Transcript – the sharing economy – remedies (DOC 13KB)

Transcript – the sharing economy – cancellations (DOC 13KB)

Transcript – the sharing economy – disputes (DOC 13KB)

Traders – If you hire or sell goods and services

Your rights:

  • 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.

 Your obligations

  • 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.

Transcript – the sharing economy – advertising (DOC 13KB)

Transcript – the sharing economy – reviews (DOC 13KB)


Proposed ticket scalping legislation – CBS news

Fair Trading (Ticket Scalping) Amendment Bill 2018

This Bill was introduced into Parliament on 30 May 2018 and aims to increase consumer protection around ticket scalping.

It will be illegal for anyone to sell tickets or advertise the sale of tickets at a price that is more than 110% of the original ticket price.

The law will apply to ticket sales for all sporting and entertainment events in South Australia (SA), where the event is subject to a resale restriction. An event will no longer need to be declared as a ‘major event’ in order for ticket scalping protections to apply.

It will also be an offence for anyone to use ‘ticket bots’ or other software to purchase tickets to an event in SA.

Ticket reselling will be allowed, as long as the advertised price is capped at 110% of the original ticket price and provided that certain information is disclosed in the advertisement.

The Fair Trading (Ticket Scalping) Amendment Bill 2018 is available at www.legislation.sa.gov.au


Labour hire laws – CBS news

The State Government has received a number of submissions from stakeholders raising various issues in relation to the Labour Hire Licensing Scheme that commenced on 1 March 2018.

Compliance with the Act was planned to commence from 1 September 2018.  To enable proper consideration of the submissions received and to allow sufficient time for the issues raised to be appropriately addressed, the Commissioner has advised that at this stage, Consumer and Business Services (CBS) will not enforce the licensing requirements prior to 1 February 2019.  Therefore, businesses may wish to postpone seeking a licence until further information is available from CBS.

CBS is working to provide further information to industry as soon as possible, following consideration of the issues that have been raised.

Concerns about unscrupulous labour hire providers can be reported as below:

  • Fair Work Ombudsman – To discuss or report concerns including pay, leave, ending employment, discrimination, and sham contracting. Visit the webpage Help us keep workplaces fair
  • Safe Work SA – To discuss or report concerns including safety, inadequate safety training, and worksite accidents. Visit sa.gov.au

 

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The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 commenced on 1 March 2018.

Anyone who operates as a labour hire provider in South Australia must be licensed. It will also be unlawful for employers to use the services of an unlicensed operator.

See additional information for labour hire providers including:

  • who must be licensed
  • responsible persons
  • licence criteria
  • fees
  • objections to licence applications.

If you have any queries about labour hire licensing please telephone CBS on 8204 8512.