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LEGT 1710 BUSINESS AND THE LAW
Lecture 11 Consumer Protection

This week Consumer Protection
• Consumer Law - the statutory provisions:
Unconscionable conduct Misleading or deceptive conduct False representations

• Defences • Remedies • No refunds

© 2013 The University of New South Wales Sydney 2052 Australia The original material prepared for this guide is copyright. Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the Head of School, Taxation and Business Law, UNSW, Sydney

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Overview
On completion of this week in you should be able to: Explain what is ‘unconscionable conduct’ within the meaning of the ACL Explain what is meant by ‘misleading or deceptive conduct’ in s 18, ACL and identify different types of conduct that might be misleading or deceptive Identify the different types of false representations set out in s 29, ACL Identify defences available for breaches of the consumer protection provisions Suggest possible remedies for breaches of the consumer protection provisions Explain what the law says about ‘no refund’ signs

Sale of Goods/Product Liability
Please note – in this unit we are NOT DEALING with: • Sale of Goods • Product Liability Therefore the following paragraphs in Latimer are NOT RELEVANT: ¶7-011 to ¶7-215

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Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)
• As discussed last week, the Competition and Consumer Act (‘CCA’) is a federal/Commonwealth statute that: Regulates ‘RESTRICTIVE TRADE’ practices to produce greater competition and efficiency in the market for the benefit of consumers; and Protects the interests of consumers of goods, services and land against ‘UNFAIR PRACTICES’ • Prior to 1 January 2011, the CCA was known as the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth)

Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
• Consumer law and ‘unfair practices’ dealt with by the Australian Consumer Law • Australia Consumer Law (ACL) is Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) • In this course we will focus on the following types of conduct: ss 20-22: unconscionable conduct s 18: misleading or deceptive conduct s 29: false representations

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The Regulator
• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) • Regulator responsible for administering the CCA • Primary responsibility: to ensure individuals and businesses comply with Commonwealth consumer protection, fair trading and competition/trade practices laws • Until 1995, was the Trade Practices Commission (TPC) • Also see http://www.accc.gov.au

Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
Who is a “consumer”? See Latimer at ¶7-012 • Supply of goods or services • Cost less than $40K: s3(1)(a) • Cost more than $40K and are “of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use or consumption: s3(1)(b)

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Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
Note: The ACL implies non-excludable consumer guarantees for the supply of goods and services to “consumers”: to be discussed later

Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
Who is a “consumer”? See Latimer at ¶7-012 • Purchase of goods by a business will be a consumer contract if: goods are personal, domestic or household goods AND not used up in business (eg for re-supply or in the process of manufacture etc)

Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
• Who is a “consumer”? See Latimer at ¶7-012 • Section 3 asks: whether goods are acquired to be used or consumed (a consumer transaction) OR whether goods are to be used up in a business (a non-consumer transaction)

Unconscionable conduct
• The unconscionability provisions provide consumers (and small business) with protection from unconscionable (unfair) conduct

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Unconscionable conduct
• Where one party to a transaction is at a disadvantage, because of: age sickness illiteracy financial needs lack of explanation when required language (i.e. non-English...
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