Online shopping fails to deliver for consumers

Three new traders have appeared on the NSW Fair Trading Complaints Register for the first time after receiving 10 or more complaints for the calendar month of July.

Two of the new entrants for the month include online sportswear retailer Revolv Athletic and Elite Blinds and Shutters Pty Ltd which both received 10 complaints about the supply of goods.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said under the Australian Consumer Law it is an offence for a business to accept payment for goods and not supply them or supply something different.

The July Complaints Register also saw self-storage company Rent a Space in Brookvale appear for the first time after receiving 11 complaints from consumers about loss or damage to their property.

A total of 22 businesses are included in July’s Register with 335 complaints from their customers between them.

With several online businesses appearing on the register, including Revolv Athletic, Grays Online and eBay, Fair Trading is reminding consumers to make informed decisions when shopping online.

“In a recently commissioned market research survey, one in five people did not know they have the same rights when buying online as they do when shopping in store,’ Ms Webb said.

“Almost 40% of people surveyed had experienced problems when shopping online, which is why it is vital that shoppers review the trader’s website prior to placing an order.”

Fair Trading’s advice to consumers when shopping online is to carefully read the expected delivery times, refund and returns policy and terms and conditions before purchasing.

Once again, the July Register saw a number of electrical appliance retailers included on the list with Apple, Harvey Norman, Samsung Electronics, Kogan and the Good Guys receiving between 19 and 36 complaints each.

Automotive and travel was another dominant area for complaints this month, with Ford Motor Australia, Volkswagen Group, Sutton Motors, GM Holden, Mazda Australia, Qantas and Jetstar all appearing.

Consumers experiencing difficulties with a trader should try to resolve the matter directly. If unable to resolve a dispute, consumers should lodge a formal complaint with Fair Trading via the website, or by calling 13 32 20.

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