What are my rights as a consumer?
The ACL offers consumer protections in the areas of:
- unfair contract terms, covering standard form consumer contracts
- consumer rights when buying goods and services
- product safety
- unsolicited consumer agreements covering door-to-door sales and telephone sales
- lay-by agreements
Advice on different parts of the ACL can be found in the Guides below, or on the websites of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the State and Territory agencies that enforce the ACL.
Guides to the ACL
The ACCC, ASIC and the State and Territory consumer protection agencies have prepared guides to help businesses and legal practitioners to understand key elements of the ACL.
The guides are designed to explain the ACL in simple language, but are not a substitute for the legislation. They provide general information and examples and do not constitute legal advice or a definitive list of situations where the law applies.
Australian Consumer Law for fundraising and other activities of charities, not-for-profits and fundraisers
National, state and territory consumer protection agencies have developed guidance on the application of the Australian Consumer Law to the fundraising and other activities of charities, not-for-profits and fundraisers.
- A guide to the Australian Consumer Law - for fundraising and other activities of charities, not‑for‑profits and fundraisers [PDF 310KB]
Avoiding unfair business practices
The avoiding unfair business practices guide covers misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, false or misleading representations and related offences, information standards and country of origin representations. For more information and to download the guide visit the ACCC website.
The consumer guarantees guide covers what consumer guarantees apply to goods and services, who is responsible for these guarantees and when a remedy, such as a refund, repair or replacement, may be available.
- Consumer guarantees guide [PDF 619KB]
- Acceptable quality and the meaning of 'durability' [PDF 207KB]
- Acceptable quality and the meaning of ‘safe’ [PDF 265KB]
For further information and resources about consumer guarantees, visit the ACCC website.
The product safety guide covers the national consumer product safety regime including bans, mandatory safety standards, product safety recalls, mandatory reporting of deaths and injuries, and product liability.
- Consumer product safety [PDF 453KB]
For more information about national product safety, visit the Product Safety Australia website.
The sales practices guide covers unsolicited supplies, unsolicited consumer agreements, pyramid schemes, multiple pricing, lay-by agreements, referral selling and harassment and coercion.
- Sales practices [PDF 620KB]
Unfair contract terms
On 1 January 2011, the unfair contract terms provisions of the ACL applied in all jurisdictions. The unfair contract terms guide explains how these provisions operate. Copies of the revised guide may be downloaded from the ACCC, ASIC or your State or Territory consumer protection agency.
In November 2010, ASIC published regulatory guidance on early termination fees for residential loans.
Preventing unfair terms in window and floor covering agreements
National, state and territory consumer protection agencies have developed a guide to help legal practitioners and consumer advocates to recognise unfair terms in contracts for window and floor coverings. It will also help them understand how Australian consumer protection agencies apply unfair contract term legislation to such contracts.
Compliance and enforcement
The compliance and enforcement guide sets out the principles that guide the compliance and enforcement approach of the ACCC, ASIC and the State and Territory consumer protection agencies in administering the ACL.
- Compliance and enforcement guide [PDF 449KB]