The Australian Consumer News Stories that have been prominent in the media this week include:
- According to the ABC, St Vincent de Paul Society and Alviss Consulting’s new report shows that consumers are being slugged with rising electricity bills boosted by big network costs and confusing fees from energy retailers. The report showed that network costs charged for poles and wires made up as much as 60 per cent of some electricity bills.
- News.com.au reports that two million Australians are at risk of a credit default in the next year and it could impact their capacity to get a loan. Financial strain and laziness in paying bills are among the reasons blamed for Australians having a default on their credit file.
- Adelaide broker Paul Meier has been given a suspended jail sentence of three years and seven months for making fake loan applications in clients’ names. Judge Stretton criticised the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) handling of the case, as ASIC secured an enforceable undertaking but did not prosecute. Insurancenews.com.au has the full story.
- The Credit Ombudsman will bar rogue “credit repair agents” who slug unsuspecting consumers thousands of dollars to get black marks removed when it can be done for free. The Financial Ombudsman Service will soon follow suit. More at news.com.au
- Family First senator Bob Day wants a “trial” to be run in South Australia where young unemployed people trade off wages in exchange for his support for a one-month waiting period rather than six for Newstart, says The Australian.
- According to The Age, lawyers working within the Royal Women’s Hospital are giving abused women discreet legal advice in an initiative that could be extended to other health centres. The move has put doctors and the legal fraternity in partnership in the latest effort to counter Victoria’s high incidence of family violence.
Thanks to Consumer Action Law Centre for help compiling these stories.