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Consumer & Business Advice
Media releases
6 February 2012

South Australia’s consumers are being reminded they don’t have to put up with faulty goods and services.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will launch a national education campaign on Sunday 5 February under the banner “If it’s not right, use your rights”.

The South Australian Government is supporting the campaign, which features a series of advertisements on radio, digital advertisements and display panels in some shopping centres.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Paul White said the campaign followed an extensive study of consumer complaints.

“In 2009 fair trading agencies across Australia commissioned research into consumers' experiences with white goods, electronic goods and mobile phones - all known as problem areas,” Mr White said.

“More than half of the survey respondents had experienced problems with these goods in the previous two years,” he said.

“When consumers went back to the trader, more than a third were denied any sort of remedy.

“Almost one in five consumers were fobbed off.”

Mr White said a pre-Christmas audit of South Australia’s retailers had been conducted by Consumer and Business Services (CBS) to see if retailers were complying with the Australian Consumer Law, which commenced on1 January last year.

“CBS officers were checking on consumer guarantees, refund and lay-by rights and product safety.

“The audit showed a big jump in the level of compliance, which was extremely gratifying,” Mr White said.

“But consumers need to be vigilant and this latest ACCC campaign puts the message out there again.”

The ACCC campaign outlines four steps unsatisfied consumers should take:

1.    Go back to or contact the business.
2.    Explain the problem and state that you want them to fix it.
3.    If the business refuses to fix the problem, ask to speak to the manager or write a complaint letter.
4.    If the business still refuses to help, contact your local consumer protection agency or the ACCC.

For more information, call CBS on 131 882, or go online to australia.gov.au/consumerrights