Checklist: Avoid your small business copping a $220,000 fine

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Checklist: Avoid your small business copping a $220,000 fine

No idea if you're following the rules? Fill out this checklist to get an idea of whether your business is complying with the Australian Consumer Law.

This checklist is for small businesses to check whether they understand Australian Consumer Law.

Why care? The maximum penalty for breaches is $220,000 for an individual.

The checklist point out various helpful tips, including: 
  • the display of prices
  • product safety
  • unsolicited selling
  • advertising
  • guarantees
  • refunds
It won't always tell you whether you are complying or not, but where it doesn't it will direct you to more detailed information. 
 
For example, the checklist makes it clear that you must provide free itemised bills on request.
 
It only mentions that "certain information" must be disclosed to customers before accepting goods for repair if you use refurbished parts.
 
A survey last year of 400 small retailers by NSW Fair Trading found half had "no knowledge" of the Australian Consumer Law.
 
The survey also found 16% of surveyed retailers used the phrase "no refunds" in their policy or signage, which is a red flag - see page 10 of "Consumer guarantees: A guide for businesses and legal practitioners".
 
It's not just small retailers - we recently overheard customers in a store with branches in all the eastern states being told that no refunds would be given on certain items they were purchasing, when the assistant presumably meant no 'change of mind' refunds would be given.
 
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