VIC: Defects and refunds among top consumer questions

Published: 
30 Mar 2016

Victorians have contacted Consumer Affairs Victoria more than 175,000 times in six months.

Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Simon Cohen has released the Half-Year Report - covering July to December last year - which includes information and data about Consumer Affairs Victoria’s key activities for that period.

Consumer Affairs Victoria received calls in the second half of 2015 from people seeking information and advice on issues ranging from renting, real estate and retirement villages, to shopping rights, cars, clubs and not-for-profits.

Almost 45,000 calls were about rental bonds, and more than 32,000 were about residential accommodation.

Nearly 40,000 calls related to general consumer issues, such as shopping and product safety.

Visits to the Consumer Affairs Victoria website rose markedly - up 30 per cent to 1.65 million visits, over the corresponding period in 2014.

More than 26,000 people ‘like’ Consumer Affairs Victoria’s Facebook account, and more than 7,000 follow its Twitter account.

“The number of calls and website visits to Consumer Affairs Victoria show Victorians are keen to find out about their consumer rights and how to exercise them,” Mr Cohen said.

“The growth of our online and social media presence means we can provide consumers with information promptly and efficiently. We are committed to giving Victorians information that will help them make informed decisions as consumers.”

The top five shopping problems were:  major defects or failures in goods (2,948), minor defects or failures in goods (1,841), unsatisfactory or defective services (1,664), refund and return rights (1,491) and non-supply or partial supply of goods and services (1,290).

The products that Victorians had problems with were: furniture and furnishings (1,206), clothing and footwear (1,165), electrical appliances and whitegoods (1,120), personal goods (849) and computer hardware (586).

Consumer Affairs Victoria is also on the lookout for unsafe toys: inspectors examined 363 show bags ahead of last year’s Royal Melbourne Show and scrutinised 2,500 toys for potential dangers such as choking hazards.

“Our product safety inspections help ensure that we can warn the public about dangerous goods, particularly those aimed at children, or seize them and work with other regulators to take them off the market.”

View the report in full at our Half-Year Report section.

You can also follow Consumer Affairs Victoria on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact details

Consumer Affairs Victoria Media Adviser
Telephone: 03 8684 8340
Consumer Affairs (VIC)
Product category