26 September 2023

Fair Trading warns online shoppers to take care

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The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has urged Queenslanders to become informed about their rights and to know who it is they are dealing with when shopping online.

In a statement, the OFT said many shoppers were looking forward to the big sales events coming up during the peak shopping season, but it was crucial they did their research when shopping online.

For online sales, consumers should read reviews from other shoppers and take a careful look into the products and services on offer prior to purchasing to ensure they were really getting a bargain.

“Don’t forget to check if a business will offer a remedy under their returns policy for change-of-mind purchases, because businesses don’t automatically have to give a refund if you simply no longer want the item, or you selected the wrong size or colour,” the OFT said.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said consumers were changing the way they shopped, with a lot more shifting to buying online or through businesses on social media, including traders based overseas.

“Check you are dealing with an Australian business when shopping online by looking for an Australian business number (ABN), physical address and contact details listed on their website,” Ms Fentiman said.

“If you buy from an online business based overseas, it can be more difficult to resolve issues if something goes wrong.”

She said there could also be further unforeseen delays in delivery.

“As online shopping becomes more accessible, especially amongst young consumers, there is also an increased risk of falling victim to fake websites and scams,” the Minister said.

“That’s why it’s so important that consumers understand their consumer rights and responsibilities from a young age.”

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