Australian Consumer News Weekly Wrap Up

Australian Consumer News Stories that have been prominent in the media this week include:

  • According to The Age, billing and contact details of Victorians online have been leaked by a government authority. Even though the privacy breach posed a “medium to high” level threat, affected customers were not informed.
  • The Age reports that severe unsavoury practices of Australia’s multibillion dollar life insurance industry will be investigated further, in particular, the insidious practice of advisers “churning” clients to earn hefty commissions.
  • Startup Smart investigates whether it is legal for businesses to sneak clauses into their customer terms that allow them to keep deposits or ‘fine’ customers for negative reviews. California has created a worldwide precedent which protects the customer’s right to write a negative and honest online review.
  • A former consumer watchdog chairman says that the introduction of an “effects test” into competition law is likely to take a back seat to wider economic reforms in the federal government’s competition inquiry. The Sydney Morning Herald provides the full story.
  • Consumer trust needs to be lifted after public confidence in financial planning has dramatically declined. This has been exacerbated by scandals at the Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie Private Wealth says the Sydney Morning Herald