COVID-19

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Today the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) released its June briefing for the Consumers and COVID-19: from crisis to recovery research initiative. With governments, regulators, business and the broader policy community challenged to provide sufficient support for consumers during the COVID-19 economic crisis and into recovery, CPRC’s research aims to: Better understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on…

Read More Consumers and COVID-19: from crisis to recovery

Elderly adult holding telephone to ear Elderly adult holding telephone to ear

On 6 July 2020, the Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) launched an Inquiry into Code-subscribing banks’ compliance with Part 4 of the Banking Code of Practice (the Code). The obligations under Part 4 of the Code are key consumer protections for disadvantaged customers and are particularly relevant as the community faces heightened challenges due to…

Read More BCCC launches vulnerability, inclusivity and accessibility Inquiry

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Super Consumers Australia urges insurers to drop discriminatory policies that don’t protect the unemployed or people working limited hours. Super Consumers Australia has warned that the insurance industry will put approximately 343,000 people at financial risk if it doesn’t take action by the end of September. The warning comes after the Financial Services Council promised…

Read More COVID job losses leading to people paying for junk insurance

Hands opening an empty brown leather wallet Hands opening an empty brown leather wallet

Today’s announcement by the banking industry of further assistance to help customers experiencing financial hardship will provide some important relief to those who continue to be impacted by COVID-19.  CHOICE, Financial Rights Legal Centre, Consumer Action Law Centre and Financial Counselling Australia are at the forefront of helping people impacted by COVID-19, particularly people doing…

Read More Banks Announcement of Further Assistance for Customers a Timely Relief: Consumer Groups

Three people sitting at a desk having a meeting, two with their backs to the camera Three people sitting at a desk having a meeting, two with their backs to the camera

Australians in dispute with their bank, insurer, super fund or financial firm have lodged more than 80,000 complaints in the last 12 months, with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) securing $258.6 million in compensation and refunds direct to consumers.  People made 80,546 complaints to AFCA between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. This…

Read More AFCA receives more than 80,000 complaints in FY19/20, nearly 5,000 of which are COVID-19 related

A black calculator next to a hard copy bank statement A black calculator next to a hard copy bank statement

A new research report by the Consumer Policy Research Centre explores the global response to COVID-19, with nationwide survey of 1114 Australians showing people are drawing on limited resources just to make ends meet. 12 million Australians are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their financial wellbeing; 1 in 5 are ‘very’ concerned Almost…

Read More 1 in 4 Australians are struggling to pay for essentials such as energy, groceries and insurance, adding to existing rent and mortgage stress

and hand pumping hand sanitiser from a bottle and hand pumping hand sanitiser from a bottle

Consumer advocate CHOICE has written to the Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz with proposed legislation to stop price gouging on essentials during a crisis. “The past few months have shown us that in a crisis, consumer protections for Australians are the first thing to go.” says Amy Pereira, CHOICE Campaigner. “We need strong protections…

Read More CHOICE calls for urgent price gouging legislation to protect Victorians in future crises

A person looking at a flights board at an airport A person looking at a flights board at an airport

UNCTAD is calling on governments to intensify efforts to protect consumers. Written by Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Director of International Trade and Commodities, UNCTAD. Global lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19 currently affect half of the world’s population and 4.5 million flights are expected to be cancelled until 30 June. The UN World Tourism Organization estimates that international…

Read More Airlines must respect consumers’ rights: UNCTAD

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Grocery shoppers wanting to get value for money during the current economic crisis should be using the unit price information (price per unit of measure) provided for prepackaged products by all large supermarkets. Gerard Brody, chair of the peak consumer body the Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA), says “The unit price information shown on shelf…

Read More Grocery shoppers urged to use unit prices to get better value for money during the COVID-19 economic crisis

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The Consumers’ Federation of Australia has made submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) responding to authorisation applications from NBN Co, the Australian Energy Council (AEC) and Private Healthcare Australia Limited (PHA). Businesses can seek authorisation from the ACCC where conduct risks breaching competition laws but is in the public interest. While CFA…

Read More CFA responds to COVID19 cooperation proposals from NBN Co, Australian Energy Council and Private Healthcare Australia