Regulator news and government inquiries

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Consumer regulators have today released a report on their collaborative efforts in administering the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) over the last twelve months. The report shines a light on some of the key policy, education and enforcement activities undertaken by the members of Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) during the 2018-19 financial year,…

Read More Australian Consumer Law collaboration benefits consumers

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released its Combating Scams report which recommends new enforceable obligations on telcos and the immediate commencement of trials for a number of scam reduction initiatives. The trials aims to reduce common phone scams such as malicious ‘spoofing’, where scammers disguise their number to make it look like…

Read More ACMA recommends immediate action to combat scams

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“Stand up to the insurance lobby” – that’s the message of leading consumer groups as they deliver signatures of over 20,000 Australians to Parliament House in Canberra. The groups anticipate the Federal Government to act on “Unfair Contract Terms” laws this fortnight, closing a damaging loophole that has allowed insurance companies to profit by using…

Read More 20,000 Australians demand the end of unfair insurance

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Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) has released two new guidance papers on the concepts of ‘durability’ and ‘safe’ under the consumer guarantees provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL creates a basic set of guarantees for consumers who acquire goods. One of these guarantees is that the goods will be of…

Read More New guidance on meaning of safe and durable products to provide clarity to consumers

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Residential consumers and small businesses made 32,801 complaints in the first quarter of 2020 (1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019). In this period complaints about phone and internet services increased 6.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2018. This data was highlighted in the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Quarter One 2020 Complaints report…

Read More TIO reports increase in phone and internet complaints

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CHOICE research has discovered that Australians purchasing some Silver Plus health insurance policies are losing hundreds of dollars every year. The research follows CHOICE slamming the industry for rip-off Basic policies earlier this year. “Health insurers are scamming Australians with high-cost plus policies,” says Dean Price, Health Campaigner at CHOICE. “We’ve found over 215 Silver…

Read More Health insurers are scamming Australians with high-cost plus policies

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Australians could be at risk of injuries or even death from 6.6 million individual products currently under voluntary recall, with about half of these still likely to be found in people’s homes, new figures show. Figures show that each year the ACCC is notified of about 650 consumer product recalls, but only about half of…

Read More Over a million recalled products still in circulation in Australia

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The Federal Government has directed the ACCC to immediately commence an inquiry into home loan pricing. The ACCC is to investigate a wide range of issues ranging from the rates paid by new vs existing customers, how the cost of financing for banks has affected bank decisions on interest rates, and why RBA cuts aren’t always…

Read More ACCC commences pricing transparency inquiry for home loans

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The ACCC will consider whether Australians are able to access basic broadband plans at fair and affordable prices, as part of an inquiry into NBN wholesale charges launched on Monday. The inquiry will examine wholesale prices paid by retail service providers (RSPs), which use the NBN to supply residential-grade broadband services. The ACCC’s inquiry will…

Read More Affordability of basic NBN products to be examined

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ASIC has warned Australian investors considering establishing their own self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) to be particularly aware of the potential downside to such a strategy, and that many Australians set up SMSFs that are inappropriate for their circumstances. ASIC has identified eight ‘red flag’ situations which, together or in part, would make it extremely unlikely…

Read More ASIC urges consumers to question whether SMSFs are right for them

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The ACCC has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to improve the safety of quad bikes by introducing a new safety standard. The decision was announced by Assistant Treasurer the Hon Michael Sukkar today. The safety standard has three elements: improved information for potential purchasers, enhanced quad bike stability, and rollover protection to reduce injuries and…

Read More ACCC welcomes new quad bike safety standard