Consumer Rights

Consumers have a right to:

  • Equality in the consumer market
    The Act prohibits any form of unfair discrimination including discrimination arising out of race, gender, age, pregnancy, disability, marital status, ethnic or social origin, sexual orientation, religion, culture, and/or language.
  • Privacy
    The CPA regulations set times when a consumer may be contacted at home
  • Consumers can register to block all direct marketing attempts or tell individual companies that they do not wish to be contacted again.
  • Choose
    This includes, amongst other things
    • Consumer’s right to select suppliers
    • Renewal and right to early termination of fixed term contracts*
    • Pre-authorisation of repair or maintenance service
    • Consumer’s right to choose or examine goods
    • Consumer’s right to return goods
  • Disclosure and Information
    Amongst other things
    • Right to information in plain and understandable language
    • Disclosure of price of goods or services
    • Product labelling and trade descriptions
  • Fair and responsible marketing
    Includes, amongst other things
    • General standards for marketing of goods or services
    • Bait marketing
    • Promotional competition
  • Fair and honest dealing
  • Fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions
  • Fair value, good quality and safety
  • Supplier’s accountability

*[The aim of the fixed-term agreement clause is to avoid the so-called ‘evergreen contracts’ of the past which renewed automatically at the end of a sometimes 5 (five) year term mainly due to the consumer forgetting to give notice (which in some cases was an absurd six month period). Consumers were then often stuck with outdated equipment. The burden is now on the suppliers to record the 80 and 40 day periods respectively and to ensure they advise the consumer of imminent contract expiry.
The worst that can happen (from a consumer perspective) is that you forget to cancel, meaning you will be tied into a ‘month-to-month’ contract as opposed (in some cases) another 5 year period! Suppliers will also have to check the regulations regarding (1) what period constitutes a fixed term and (2) what cancellation penalties they can levy]