Businesses are trotting them out left and right these days, but it’s not clear who gives them the authority to do that, since you already have a right to the three Rs without promising to keep matters confidential.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) effectively keep problems with a product or service a secret so other customers can’t know that it has a history of problems.
“The ACCC has made clear that non-disparagement clauses can breach unfair contract terms provisions.
“Again this comes back to the imbalance of power and information between consumer and business, and why we need strong, enforceable consumer protections.”
Read More Non-Disclosure Agreements, Unfair Contracts and Consumer Rights
Online national retailer Riff Raff Baby Pty Ltd has paid penalties of $132,000 after the ACCC issued it with eight infringement notices for allegedly making false or misleading statements about its comforter toys being safe for sleep from birth.
Riff Raff has also provided the ACCC with a court-enforceable undertaking in which it admits that the advertisements for its sleep aid toys were likely to have breached the Australian Consumer Law.
“Based on these advertisements by Riff Raff, parents and caregivers may have thought that these products are safe for babies to sleep next to in an unsupervised sleep environment, when in fact there are serious safety risks. These types of products can cover a baby’s nose and mouth, which can pose a risk of fatal suffocation,” ACCC Deputy Chair, Catriona Lowe said.
Read More Riff Raff Penalised Over Alleged False or Misleading Infant Sleep Aid Toys Ads
“There are a number of gaps in the consumer law when it comes to protecting people from unfair business practices. These gaps leave consumers in Australia vulnerable to all kinds of unfair treatment,” says CHOICE senior policy and campaigns adviser Alex Söderlund.
CPRC CEO Erin Turner says Australian consumers deserve better.
“Australians are missing out on protections that consumers in other countries have benefited from for decades. We need laws to effectively call out and restrict unfair practices. These laws will mean businesses have to treat you with respect and care.”
Read More Make Unfair Illegal – Consumer Groups Call for Strong New Laws to Close Gaps as New Research on Consumer Knowledge Emerges
The NASC launched in July as part of an $86.5 million package to crackdown on scams. It represents the most cohesive partnership between government and industry to date to protect against these criminals.
While scam losses are still significant, the report shows a 16% decrease in losses compared to the same quarter last year. It also reveals that losses from investment scams have declined by 6%, and romance scam losses have declined by 28%.
The quarter ended with reported scam losses of $29.8 million in September 2023, the lowest losses reported in a single month since October 2021.
Read More A Promising Start as National Anti-Scam Centre Releases its First Report
In the past year, according to figures released by the National Anti Scam Centre (NASC), over 81,000 reports of scams have been made and $92 million stolen. Of those scams, 3 in 4 were impersonation scams where criminals pretended to be someone known and trusted such as a family member, government institution, road toll company or bank. Out of these, bank imitation scams caused the highest monetary losses.
Read More Scams Awareness Week 2023
“It is important that we remain focused on progressing reforms to the Australian Consumer Law to strengthen protections for consumers and small business and improve consumer confidence.”
“The agreed priorities for 2024 build on the important enhancements to consumer protections that have been delivered in 2023, such as strengthening Unfair Contract Term Protections, increasing penalties for breaches of the competition and consumer laws, and establishing the National Anti-Scam Centre.”
Read More Consumer Affairs Ministers Agree on 2024 Priorities
Digital platforms with significant market power can use practices like bundling or tying of products, pre-installation and default settings to limit customer choice or deter innovation from competitors.
Read More Expansion of Digital Platforms Demonstrates “critical need for regulatory reform”
“Australians increasingly use digital platforms for work, study and play and can benefit from their wide range of interconnected products and services. While the size and scale of digital platforms alone does not raise concern, there is a risk that this expansion may be driven by a desire from digital platforms to entrench or extend their market power,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.
Original media release by CALC (24/11/2023). Consumer Action Law Centre has welcomed the scams safe accord announced by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) which has involved, for the first time, member banks joining forces and agreeing on key steps to enhance scams protections for Australian banking customers. “We are…
Read More Banking Industry Announces First Big Step in Addressing Scams
“eSafety and indeed the wider community, expect that all online services, should be taking all reasonable steps to prevent their services from being used to store, share and distribute this horrific content and that’s what these standards are intended to achieve.”
Read More Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Opens Draft Industry Standards to Public Consultation
A few days ago, on November 20th 2023 the Albanese Government’s Competition Taskforce released a Consultation Review on Australia’s laws and practices surrounding mergers. Below is information from the Treasury website on the consultation paper as well as how to make a submission and what to include. The Treasurer has also issued a media release on the consultation which is available here. Submissions for the merger consultation paper close on January 19th 2024.
Read More Submissions Open for Consultation Paper on Merger Reform
Original media release ASIC (17/11/2023). Today ASIC opened its consultation on the Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) proposed changes to its Banking Code of Practice (the Code). The Code contains a set of contractually enforceable standards that customers and small business can expect subscribing banks to uphold. The ABA plans to apply for ASIC approval of…
Read More ABA Consults ASIC on Proposed Banking Code Changes
In Australia there are over 2.65 million carers across Australia according to Carers Australia. Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or older people who need support. One of the greatest challenges…
Read More Carers who are also in Employment – New draft Standard open for public comment