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2014
Department of the Attorney-General and Justice - NT Consumer Affairs > News and Events > 2014
 

 Posts ‭[2]‬

 
 

 Posts ‭[1]‬

 
December 24
Christmas Greetings and Opening Hours

The Commissioner of Consumer Affairs and the team wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

 

More information here

October 22
Travelling Conmen Operating in Darwin
 
The NT Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Gary Clements, is warning people to be on the lookout for travelling conmen reportedly selling goods from a white van in the Palmerston and surrounding areas.
See here for more information.

September 23
Price Exploitation Prevention Act 2002 - Media Release

Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gary Clements has issued the following statement in relation to the Price Exploitation Prevention Act 2002.

 

August 25
Pack Some Peace of Mind

Australians dreaming of their summer holiday are being encouraged to 'pack some peace of mind' when booking their next trip.

For more information click here

August 20
Alice Springs Consumer Affairs Office Move
The NT Consumer Affairs Office will be moving from the 1st floor of Belvedere House to the Westpoint Complex.  The Westpoint Complex is located on the corner of Railway and Stott Terraces.  The new premises are located on the ground floor for ease of accessibility.  Our new location will be open to the public on Monday 25 August 2014.  The last day for tenancy Inquiries to be heard at Belvedere House will be Tuesday 26 August with the next Inquiry day on Thursday 28 August to be heard at the new premises at the Westpoint Complex. All the telephone and fax numbers will remain the same. If you have any questions relating to the move, please do not hesitate to contact the Alice Springs office on 08 89247 052.

August 07
Supreme Court and Government House Open Day
The Supreme Court and Government House Open Day is on this Saturday, 9 August 2014.  At the Supreme Court you can join the Hon. Chief Justice Trevor Riley in a Sentencing Forum where questions and issues relating to the criminal Law and sentencing can be raised and discussed.  You can also participate in a Mock Trial, take a tour with the Hon. Tom Pauling AO QC  in an art tour or even have a Devonshire Tea. 
 
Government House is the oldest European-style house in the Northern Territory. You can take a walk through the beautiful gardens or listen to talks on the history of Government House.  There will be live music on the lawns and a Devonshire tea and sausage sizzle. 
 
  
June 20
National Travel Reform
 
National reforms in the travel industry will see the repeal of travel agents’ legislation in mid-2014.  This means that as of 1 July 2014, travel agents in Australia will no longer be required to hold a licence.  Consumers however, will continue to have protections under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and other generic incorporation laws, as well as industry led mechanisms and market based remedies such as credit card charge-backs.
 
More information regarding the changes can be found here: ACL Travel Industry Transition Plan
 
 
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) have developed the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) that sets a benchmark of quality for the travel industry.  The accreditation scheme is open to all travel intermediaries that buy and sell travel. This scheme benchmarks applicants against a range of criteria. Those that meet the requirements are awarded national accreditations that will allow them to use the ATAS branding as a symbol of quality and professionalism.
 
More information can be found here: ATAS 
 
 
For those consumers that are considering travelling it pays to be vigilant when choosing a method to organise the travel. Always research the company that you are considering using, check for blogs or other feedback regarding that website and ensure you have travel protections, for example travel insurance.
 
When choosing a travel agent:
• Choose an agent or supplier with insolvency insurance and ask how it protects your specific travel plans if things go wrong so you are protected against the collapse of any business in the supply chain.
• When booking travel, you have rights under the Australian Consumer Law for all purchases, but when a company goes bankrupt, or is based overseas, it can be difficult to get your money back.  If you book with a credit card, contact your bank for a charge back if things go wrong.
• Like any other large purchase, do your homework when purchasing travel and accommodation and ensure you are protected should things not go as planned.
• Look for an agent who is accredited or who has received a similar stamp of approval as they will have had to go through an approval process and will have dispute resolution options in place.
• Does the agent listen to what you have to say and what you want, do they answer your questions and make appropriate suggestions and explain the terms and conditions? If not, go to another agent.
• If you buy your travel online, consider using an Australian based business as it may be difficult to obtain a solution or a refund from an overseas company if something were to go wrong.
• Ensure that the online company has basic security measures in place, such as a padlock symbol and ‘https://’.
• Before you purchase online, check their terms and conditions and ensure they have clear processes for solving problems and giving replacements and refunds.
 

June 10
National Consumer Fraud Week 16 – 22 June 2014

This year the theme for National Consumer Fraud Week is “Know Who You’re Dealing With”. 


Scammers are using more and more sophisticated methods to try and part you with your money.  Always think twice if someone that you don’t know is asking for your money.  If someone cold calls you or sends you a text, never take it for granted that the person who has called you is genuine unless you know them. 

For more information click here to Know Who You’re Dealing With.

June 03
Warning about Drover Industries Issued
 

The Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, Gary Clements, has issued a public warning to consumers not to deal with Joseph Ronald Gass trading as Drover Industries.

More Information here

May 26
Ministers agree to push for small business protections
The Federal Government has moved on its election commitment to extend unfair contract term protections from consumers to small businesses, releasing a discussion paper with state and territory consumer affairs ministers today.
While the Australian Consumer Law currently protects individual consumers from unfair terms in standard form contracts, it does not currently provide such safeguards for small businesses.
Small businesses, like individual consumers, are often offered pre-prepared contracts on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis and can lack the resources to effectively navigate or negotiate these contracts.
Sometimes these contracts contain unfair terms that increase the cost of doing business and undermine trust, which is vital to business relationships.
Getting the balance right between protecting small businesses against unfair contract terms, while at the same time not imposing unnecessary burden on business, will be an important consideration in this consultation.
Information on the consultation process can be found at www.treasury.gov.au/ConsultationsandReviews/Consultations.
Stakeholders are encouraged to read the consultation paper and businesses of all sizes are also encouraged to complete a short survey.
Brief feedback can be lodged on the website via the feedback form while those with more detailed feedback are encouraged to lodge a formal submission by 1 August 2014.
Following the consultation process, Consumer Affairs Ministers will meet to discuss the feedback from stakeholders and assess the best way forward.
Factsheet:
Protecting Small Businessess from Unfair Contract Terms
Consultation Paper:
Extending Unfair Contract Term Protection to Small Businessess

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