Queenslanders who have booked a Christmas getaway are being reminded of their consumer rights in case their accommodation gives them a nasty surprise.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said holiday-makers had protections under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) if they arrived at their accommodation and it was not as advertised.
“If you have booked holiday accommodation, including through sharing economy platforms such as Airbnb or Stayz, you are covered by the consumer guarantees under the ACL,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“Your accommodation should be of acceptable quality, safe and match the description given during the booking process or in advertising.
“If you are not satisfied that the accommodation you have paid for matches the description you were given, speak to the accommodation provider directly, or contact the online platform through their internal dispute resolution process.
“If you can’t resolve the matter in this way, lodge a complaint with the Office of Fair Trading.
“Be aware of the terms and conditions you agreed to when you booked, but keep in mind these terms are not allowed to be unfair and they do not override your consumer rights.
“An example of an unfair contract term would be one that allows the business to charge a consumer’s credit card for alleged room damages without giving any notice or the opportunity to dispute the charge.
“However, it is not an unfair term for the business to charge you for the booking if you cancel because you have changed your mind and you have not given them sufficient notice.”
Consumers who want to read up on their rights before they headed off on holiday, including further information on unfair contract terms, can visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.