Charles Casuscelli today reminded consumers in the Strathfield Electorate to shop smart during the mid year sales to avoid problems with unwanted goods.
Charles said NSW Fair Trading received over 41,000 complaints in 2010 regarding goods and services, so with the end of financial year sales now here, it is a timely reminder to consumers to know the law when shopping.
"While bargains can be hard to resist, Fair Trading's advice to consumers is to avoid impulse buying and read the fine print and any return or refund policies," he said.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, which commenced on 1 January 2011, consumers automatically get guarantees from businesses.
These guarantees cover goods and services sold, hired or leased, including second-hand goods.
Consumer guarantees replace statutory implied warranties and clearly set out consumer rights and responsibilities when something goes wrong, including the right to repair, replace or refund.
Charles said traders must ensure goods are of an acceptable quality, be fit for their intended purpose and match the description or sample.
"A warranty is a voluntary promise made by a supplier or manufacturer and does not replace any consumer guarantees," he said.
"Consumers can insist a supplier meets a consumer guarantee, even if the goods are covered by a manufacturer's warranty."
Consumers should note a store's return and refund policy for sale items in particular, as stores are not obliged to offer refunds if you simply change your mind.
Also beware of deceptive advertising that entices customers into a store by advertising goods at very low prices but only have a handful of the sale items in stock.
"Above all, always keep your receipts; they are your proof of purchase," Charles said.
For more information including a copy of the publication Consumer Guarantees visit the Fair Trading website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20.