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The Consumer Action Law Centre has welcomed the Federal Government’s proposed cap on the amounts lenders of high cost short term loans (often referred to as ‘payday loans’) can recover from consumers, saying that the proposed changes would better protect consumers from lenders who currently charge effective interest rates upwards of 600 per cent per…

Read More An end to 600% interest rates? Welcome action by governments

Phone shock

Consumers groups like ACCAN and Choice have long called for an end to misleading mobile phone marketing practices. ZDNet has now joined the call with  an interesting analysis of current mobile phone plans, Building and Honest Mobile Phone Plan. They nail 5 things wrong with current selling: 1. Low prices points suck people in. 2.…

Read More The search for an ‘honest’ mobile phone plan: five things wrong with how plans are sold today

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Energy retail contracts have been put under the microscope in a report released by CFA member Consumer Action Law Centre. And while the report found that most contracts largely met their regulatory requirements, a lack of contract clarity, consistency and access to information, proved significant barriers to consumer understanding and effective competition. Just sign here……

Read More Complex energy contracts are confusing consumers and stifling choice

Australians who find themselves in a spot of bother with their car have a good chance of making a successful insurance claim, a review of motor vehicle insurers has found. ASIC’s review of more than 1.2 million claims made during 2009 found only 3317 (0.3%) were formally denied. The report also found a relatively low…

Read More ASIC finds high level of withdrawn motor vehicle insurance claims

ASIC urges consumers to check the credentials of businesses they deal with, following complaints it has received from consumers about two unlicensed businesses offering home loans with an upfront fee. Ezy Savings and Caveat Loans ITstrong are not registered Australian companies or businesses nor do they have an Australian office or valid business address. However,…

Read More ASIC warns about fake loan offers

Wayne Hawkins, disability policy adviser at ACCAN writes: As you may be aware the government is undertaking a review of access to telecommunications by people with disability, older Australians and people experiencing illness. ACCAN will be making a detailed submission to the review . One of our key areas of work is in the area…

Read More Access to telecommunications review – input to ACCAN submission

Contracts for difference – CFDs – are risky financial products that should not be marketed to ordinary retail investors in CFA’s opinion. CFD’s are not ordinary shares and significantly magnify the risks of investing. CFA has welcomed ASIC’s release of new disclosure benchmarks for CFDs that aim to improve disclosure and investor awareness about risks…

Read More CFA welcomes ASIC action on Contracts for Difference (CFD)

ASIC has taken action against Shield Mercantile Pty Ltd following complaints from consumers about harassment. Among the complaints were concerns regarding unduly frequent contact with debtors, contact with third parties, inappropriate and aggressive phonecalls and inadequate internal dispute resolution policies and procedures. ASIC spokesperson, Greg Kirk, said: ‘Creditors and debt collectors can’t behave in a…

Read More Action on debt collection complaints

Credit Card Chip Credit Card Chip

The Federal Parliament has recently enacted new consumer credit legislation that, among other things, bans credit card over-the-limit fees. This is a significant win for consumers, and follows the Fair Fees campaign from CFA members Consumer Action Law Centre and CHOICE. The Fair Fees campaign sought the removal of, and/or reduction in, a range of…

Read More Credit card penalty fee win for consumers

ASIC has released proposals for modifying the training requirements for credit representatives who provide credit assistance to consumers on home loans. The proposals address some recent industry concern about the training requirements. ASIC believes the proposals strike an appropriate balance between the interests of confident and informed financial consumers and the regulatory obligations of market…

Read More ASIC considering changes to home lending training requirements

Rod Sims ACCC Chair Rod Sims ACCC Chair

Rod Sims, the Chair of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in NSW, expressed his support for better consumer engagement in regulatory decisions and said more funding was required to help consumers participate. He noted that this was a challenge he will carry into his new role as Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair,…

Read More Incoming ACCC Chair supports better funded consumer advocacy