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cancel online subscriptions, subscription trap, online, business, cancel, payment, credit card, statement, charge, consumer, consumer law, deceptive, manipulative, online marketing, ACCC, penalty, breach, personal information
06 Jul 2023

New laws to tackle subscription traps and make it easier to cancel online subscriptions

Many of us have had difficulty trying to cancel online subscriptions that just keep on being charged to our credit cards. Difficulties faced by Australians trying to cancel online subscriptions It’s often a website that offered a free trial and discounts when you joined up, but you don’t use it anymore. However, there it is […]
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unfair contract, contract, consumer, small business, franchise, penalty, breach, consumer law, competition, turnover, legislation, unfair term, standard form, standard form contract, cyber hacking, cyber security, data collection, data use, data retention, data
07 Jun 2023

Unfair contract penalties increased to protect consumers and small businesses

Tougher penalties for unfair contract terms and consumer law breaches Legislation has passed federal parliament to increase penalties for unfair contract terms and breaches of consumer law. Maximum penalties for breaches of consumer law increase from $10 million to $50 million. (Please see Speech on the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Bill 2022, […]
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04 May 2023

Companies warned of need for market disclosure following cyber attack

ASIC and the courts have shown they are serious about clamping down on companies that breach continuous disclosure laws. This includes companies which do not notify their shareholders of a cyber attack. Record fine for not following market disclosure laws The corporate regulator Australian Securities & Investments Commission recently levied a record $15 million fine […]
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21 Apr 2023

Guilty or not guilty – could computers replace judges in a court of law?

Weighing up the pros and cons of a case, discarding irrelevancies, assessing the likelihood of statements being the truth or a lie… it’s all in a day’s work for a judge in a court. But could computers replace judges, if programmed correctly? Could a computer weigh the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty […]
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influencers, social media, Instagram, TikTok, deceptive, misleading, paid, promotion, endorsement, YouTube, advertisement, marketing, ACCC, consumer, consumer law, Kardashian, Employsure
02 Mar 2023

Crackdown on social media influencers who fail to disclose payments

In a case that social media influencers should not ignore, US authorities recently fined American celebrity Kim Kardashian $2 million for promoting cryptocurrency on her social media without declaring she was paid $385,000 to do so. Kim K could probably pay that fine with the loose change at the bottom of her Gucci handbag, but […]
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cartel, cartel conduct, competition, anti-competitive, consumer, ACCC, collusion, collude, bid collusion, bid rigging, roofer, roofing, contractor, fake bid, penalty, fine, publish
07 Feb 2023

Heavy penalties for cartel conduct by roofing companies in NSW

A cartel in business operates by independent corporations or market participants who are otherwise rivals colluding with one another to increase their profits, restrict competition and dominate the market. Roofing companies in Sydney set up cartel Wesley College in Sydney University needed to fix an old slate roof. The college approached a couple of roofing […]
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greenwashing, greenwash, consumer, ASIC, ACCC, environmental claims, green claims, green credentials, Santos, environment, net zero, clean energy, false, misleading, advertising
12 Jan 2023

Businesses warned against “greenwashing”

Businesses have been warned by corporate and consumer watchdogs about “greenwashing” and told they will have to be ready to substantiate any environmental claims they make when marketing their goods and services, or face severe fines under consumer law. ACCC actively targeting businesses that are greenwashing The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it is […]
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scammers, scam, fraud, fraudster, con man, online scam, dating scam, ACCC, cybercrime, cybersecurity, proceeds of crime, Facebook, Meta, crypto, misleading conduct
15 Nov 2022

Overseas-based scammers continue to outwit us as losses climb

Many scammers out of reach as financial impact of scams rises Every year Australians lose millions of dollars to dating and other online scams, as people are lured into handing over money to scammers who create fake online profiles targeting people looking for love. Scamwatch, operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, says $324 […]
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Exclusion Register, STRA, short term, rental accommodation, guest, host, neighbour, letting, renting, code of conduct, Fair Trading, common property, strata, property
01 Nov 2022

Bad short-term renters and hosts in NSW can now go on Exclusion Register

There is good news for neighbours of rowdy, poorly managed short-term rental accommodation in NSW, with a new Exclusion Register to prevent guests and hosts with two serious breaches of the Code of Conduct in a two-year period, from participating in the industry. What is the Exclusion Register? Since August 2022, bad renters and bad […]
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misleading advertising, deceptive conduct, customer, consumer, Trivago, Uber, Consumer Law, website, cost-per-click, breach, penalty
08 Sep 2022

Misleading advertising can be very costly

Some recent, high-profile cases have highlighted the significant fines for businesses found guilty of misleading advertising. The $44.7 million fine imposed on travel group Trivago by the Federal Court for misleading customers demonstrates that making false claims in advertising can be very costly. Trivago breaches Australian Consumer Law with misleading advertising The global hotel booking […]
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trees blocking, tree, view, sunlight, neighbour, dispute, LEC
18 Aug 2022

The law on trees blocking the sun

The greenery in my neighbour’s yard keeps getting bigger and bigger – now there are trees blocking the sun from reaching my garden and patio. My flowers are suffering and I can’t enjoy sitting in the sun at home any more. On top of that, the neighbour’s hedge has grown so high it blocks the […]
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12 Aug 2022

Exclusive dealing: why blocking a competitor’s ice creams cost $12 million

You pull up at a petrol station to fill up. The kids cry out for ice cream. One wants a Creamy Classic Choc Top Salted Caramel. The other wants a Mango Lime Ripple Pure Pop. You return with ice creams in hand, but not the two they wanted. Sorry kids, all they had was the […]
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truth in advertising, misleading, deceptive, conduct, false, customer, consumer, donate, charity, marketing, campaign, ACCC
18 May 2022

Retailer fined $3.5 million for breaching truth in advertising laws

Australian Consumer Law is designed to protect a degree of truth in advertising, so businesses need to be aware of the limits to which they can go in promoting their brand and pushing sales. In a Federal Court judgement in 2020, an eyewear retailer was fined $3.5 million for misleading and deceptive conduct. It was […]
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cold calling, scam, financial services, bank, banking, insurance, Royal Commission, ASIC, sales pitch, unsolicited, anti-hawking, false, misleading, consumer law
25 Mar 2022

ASIC bans financial services from cold calling as scams skyrocket

Cold calling by financial services salespeople trying to flog unwanted products to unsuspecting customers has been made illegal as scams soar across the country. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) brought in the ban in its role as financial regulator following recommendations of financial sector reforms by the banking Royal Commission. Cold calling laws […]
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mental health discrimination, mental health, discrimination, disorder, insurance, insurer, policy, payout, evidence, dispute, obstacle, disability discrimination, Anti-Discrimination Act, PIAC, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
09 Feb 2022

PIAC report identifies pattern of mental health discrimination in insurance industry

A ten year study of the insurance industry’s treatment of people has found systemic mental health discrimination that requires high-level investigation. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has compiled a report on mental health discrimination in the insurance sector. It found people with a mental health history are often being denied insurance, or are offered […]
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Shonky Awards, Shonkys, consumer law, consumer protection, warranty, guarantee, legal rights, CHOICE Australia, repair, replacement, refund, remedy.
16 Dec 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Shonky Awards

Meet the 2021 winners of the 16th Annual CHOICE Shonky Awards. There’s the $300 bladeless fan that lacks puff, the $499 kitchen food mulcher that produces “eco chips”, and fruit jelly sweets that are 69 per cent sugar. There’s also the Buy Now Pay Later provider that lends money without checking whether the debt can […]
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unfair contract terms, contract, insurance, insurance contract, dispute, ASIC, excess, direct debit, exclusion, Royal Commission
02 Dec 2021

Law on unfair contract terms now extends to insurance

Unfair contract terms protections have been extended under new legislation to include standard insurance contracts. The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Protecting Consumers (2019 Measures)) Act 2020 has amended the law relating to unfair contract terms in insurance contracts and also applies to funeral expense facilities and mortgage brokers. The new legislation […]
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data breach, notification, scheme, cyberattack, Privacy Commissioner, public sector, cyber attackers, personal information, Service NSW, identity theft, fraud
01 Jul 2021

NSW set to introduce mandatory data breach notification scheme to protect privacy

The NSW government will be required to notify anyone affected by a cyberattack or data breach of its records, under planned changes to state privacy laws being introduced later in 2021. For the first time in any Australian state or territory, it will be compulsory for NSW government departments, state owned corporations and local councils […]
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