Consumer & Trade Disputes

CONSUMER & TRADER DISPUTES

Consumers are often unaware of their legal rights in goods or services that they purchase. Similarly, businesses are often unaware of their legal obligations to a consumer in supplying a good or service. The supply of goods or services in trade or commerce by a business is regulated under various laws, such as the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

WHAT IS A CONSUMER AND TRADER DISPUTE?

For a consumer and trader dispute to arise, there needs to be a transaction in trade or commerce where a business supplies goods and/or services. Examples of common consumer and trader disputes include:

Defective goods, defective work/services, unpaid invoices; and/or unpaid wages.

WHO IS A CONSUMER?

  • A consumer is a person who buys or hires goods or services for personal use.
  • Goods include cars, boats, clothing, appliances, food, furniture, etc.
  • Services include haircut by a hairdresser, meals served in a restaurant, car maintenance etc.

WHO IS A TRADER?

  • A person who runs a business in supplying goods or services to individuals.
  • However, professional services such as lawyers, doctors, dentists and financial advisors are generally not considered traders in the context of these disputes.

GENERAL CONSUMER PROTECTIONS

Warranties if the goods or services:

  • Are not of reasonable quality;
  • Do not do the job the trader advertised them to do;
  • Do not match the description or sample given;
  • Are not free from defects; and/or
  • Unless advised, do not have spare parts or repairs available.

Refunds if the goods or services are:

  • Faulty, damaged, broken or do not work, and you did not know this at the time of purchase;
  • Different to the description you were given;
  • Unfit for the purpose they were sold for; and
  • Do not comply with the sample you were shown.

HOW WE CAN HELP

If you have a consumer and trader dispute, at first instance you may make a formal complaint to them in writing and propose a resolution to the dispute. Should this resolve the dispute, it is recommended that you confirm the agreement in writing and have all parties sign a copy of the agreement.

However, it is often the case that these disputes cannot be resolved at first instance. The litigation and dispute resolution team at Ramsden Lawyers are here to assist you in your consumer and trader dispute. Whether it be assistance in negotiation at first instance or taking legal action to resolve the dispute, we are here to find a solution that will reach your desired outcome.

Additionally, if you are a trader defending legal proceedings, the Gold Coast team is here to advise and assist you.

Lead by Specialist Accredited Litigator and Partner, Benjamin Twomey, the Gold Coast team has extensive experience in consumer and trader disputes and is here to enforce your rights or protect your obligations in an efficient manner that is tailored to your goals. Contact us today on (07) 55 921 921 to schedule a consultation on the Gold Coast.

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