The State’s Consumer Watchdog today warned romantics: take off those rose-coloured glasses when purchasing gifts this Valentine’s Day, Friday 14 February.
“Many South Australians will be purchasing expensive gifts, such as jewellery, this Valentine’s Day,” said Paul White, the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs.
“Consumer and Business Services (CBS) launched Operation Bling last week as a pre- cursor to Valentine’s Day and are on the lookout for jewellery retailers who are not doing the right thing by their consumers and failing to comply with the Australian Consumer Law.
“Compliance officers have already visited 58 stores in metropolitan and regional areas with a focus on refund policies and advertising practices and I am pleased report that no instances of non-compliance were detected.
“However, consumers are still urged to be diligent when making extravagant purchases. “In 2013, CBS received 10 complaints in relation to jewellery purchases.
“One of the best ways to protect your Valentine’s Day gift is to keep a copy of the receipt.
“While this may not entitle you to a refund or replacement if you simply change your mind, it will help ensure that a refund is received if the item is faulty, unsafe, different from a sample or description, or doesn’t perform as advertised.
“Equally as importantly, the gift recipient is also entitled to these same remedies.
“If unsure about a gift purchase, consumers should ask about the store’s change of mind policy before they buy.”
The Commissioner also warned singles looking for love online to be cautious of scammers who may leave you broke as well as broken hearted.
“The internet presents a whole range of risks for consumers looking for romance,” Mr White said.
“Online romance frauds often request money, gifts, bank and credit card details that can result in the victim losing large sums of money.
“Consumers should not hand over any financial details.
“On most occasions, these scams initiate overseas making it extremely difficult to track down the source and therefore get any money back.”
More information about dating and romance scams is available at www.scamwatch.gov.au
Consumers who encounter difficulties with gift purchases this Valentine’s Day are encouraged to contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882.