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Avoiding Victoria's top five shopping problems
Oct '11
Consumer Affairs Victoria helped more Victorians than ever in the last financial year, with almost 142,000 consumers contacting Consumer Affairs Victoria for advice on shopping problems and around 10,600 downloading the MyShopRights smartphone application.

“Clothing and airline services refunds topped the latest top five list of consumer complaints as the most common fair trading issues for Victorian consumers,” Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O'Brien said.

The top five shopping problem complaints for Victorians in 2010-2011 were:
1. Refunds for clothing & apparel (891)
2. Refunds for airline services (775)
3. Defective electrical appliances (including whitegoods) (733)
4. Defective furniture, furnishings & homewares (including manchester) (614)
5. Warranties, rights, remedies and guarantees of electrical appliances (including whitegoods) (604)

Mr O'Brien said that not everyone is fully aware of their rights when buying goods and services, but the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) campaign had been very successful at helping consumers to understand their rights.

“To help avoid these problems, the free MyShopRights application answers common shopping questions including guidance on ACL. Because it is stored on phones, consumers can refer to it when out shopping,” Mr O'Brien said.

“It is also providing consumers with instant information on refund, warranty and lay-by rights, and can store photos of receipts to show proof of purchase.

“Consumer Affairs Victoria worked closely with consumers over the year to address their issues such as airline service refunds caused by flight disruptions, such as the Chilean ash cloud event.

“Consumer Affairs Victoria also provided advice and assistance to businesses, delivering toolkits to more than 2,000 traders to educate them about appropriate policies and trader knowledge of refund rights.”

Over the last financial year, Consumer Affairs Victoria finalised 3,858 general consumer disputes out of nearly 12,500 finalised disputes, taking court action against 89 traders.

Minister for Consumer Affairs

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