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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Fair Trading wins back $6.7 million for Queenslanders

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    Fair Trading wins back $6.7 million for Queenslanders

    The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) returned more than $6.7 million to consumers in 2017, with 15,756 complaints finalised across Queensland.

    The most common complaints related to personal and household goods, such as furniture, whitegoods and clothing, with more than 2700 related complaints.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath commended OFT on their work in helping Queenslanders get a fair deal.

    “I’d encourage all Queenslanders to know their rights,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “If you’re buying online, make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully, including delivery timeframes and costs.

    “If you choose an incorrect item the trader is not obliged to provide you with a refund or replacement, however, many will offer this option as they want to keep their customers happy.

    “Queenslanders should also remember that if a product is faulty, they are entitled to a remedy such as a repair, exchange, or refund and if a product purchased online is faulty, the trader is responsible for shipping or postage costs, not the consumer.

    “While most of the time traders are willing to do the right thing, if a consumer runs into a problem and the trader is unwilling to assist, the OFT is here to help.

    “Last year 85 per cent of the consumer complaints conciliated by the OFT were satisfactorily resolved, with $5.4 million worth of repairs, replacements and remedies obtained.”

     

    The most complained about industries in 2017 (Statewide)

     

    Industry

    Number of complaints

    Personal and household goods

    2718

    Motor vehicle sales

    1481

    Motor vehicle services, parts, repairs

    1093

    Personal and household services

    1060

    Real estate agents (excluding rental letting agents)

    963

     

     The most complained about industries in 2017 (by region)

     

    Location of complainant

    Number of complaints finalised

    Redress obtained through conciliation

    Top five industries complaints related to and the number of complaints

    Brisbane area

    2827

    $747,405

    Personal and household goods – 694

    Motor vehicle sales – 322

    Real estate agents – 279

    Personal and household services – 234

    Electricity and gas supply - 209

    Cairns area (4820, 4852-4895)

    835

    $635,828

    Personal and household goods – 147

    Motor vehicle sales – 87

    Car services, repair etc – 62

    Personal and household services – 61

    Real estate agents - 47

    Mackay area (4737 – 4805)

    1365

    $525,073

    Personal and household goods – 278

    Motor vehicle sales – 117

    Car services, repairs etc – 110

    Personal and household services – 102

    Real estate agents - 86

    Rockhampton area (4472-4478, 4481-4482, 4676-4736, 4829)

    783

    $236,110

    Personal and household goods – 160

    Car services, repairs etc – 69

    Motor vehicle sales – 59

    Personal and household services – 55

    Real estate agents - 50

    Gold Coast area (4208-4230, 4270-4275, 9726-9729)

    2978

    $950,841

    Personal and household goods – 475

    Motor vehicle sales – 424

    Personal and household services – 238

    Car services, repairs etc – 237

    Real estate agents - 206

    Sunshine Coast (4258, 4512-4514, 4515-4519, 4550-4581)

    1692

    $705,203

    Personal and household goods – 346

    Personal and household services – 136

    Motor vehicle sales – 135

    Car services, repairs etc – 129

    Real estate agents - 121

    Hervey Bay area (4600-4613, 4615-4674)

    793

    $676,523

    Personal and household goods – 151

    Motor vehicle sales – 81

    Car services, repairs etc – 65

    Personal and household services – 50

    Real estate agents - 38

    Toowoomba area (4342-4345, 4347-4358, 4359-4471, 4479-4480, 4486-4498, 4614)

    1167

    $398,886

    Personal and household goods – 234

    Car services, repairs etc – 124

    Motor vehicle sales – 111

    Personal and household services – 82

    Real estate agents - 66

    Townsville area (4806-4828, 4830-4850)

    1372

    $569,914

    Personal and household goods – 233

    Motor vehicle sales – 145

    Car services, repairs etc – 138

    Personal and household services – 102

    Real estate agents - 65

    Total

    15,756

    $5,445,783

     

     

    Please note: Some complaints were lodged by people who do not reside in Queensland (1402) and some complainants did not provide an address (542).

     

    Redress obtained for consumers in 2017 (Statewide)

     

    Redress type

    Redress obtained

    Notes

    Conciliating consumer complaints

    $5,445,783

    Most traders want to do the right thing. Through conciliation of individual consumer complaints, the OFT is also able to provide education and advice to traders about their responsibilities under fair trading laws.

    Court ordered compensation

    $452,012

    This is compensation ordered to be returned to consumers following OFT court action.

    Claims paid

    $840,224

    Consumers who suffer a financial loss as a result of some actions by a real estate agent, motor dealer or commercial agent can apply to the OFT claim fund

    Total

    $6,738,019

    This includes monetary refunds, value of repairs, replacement or compensation.

     

    Further information on consumer rights, including how to lodge a complaint is available at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

    Attorney-General Media Contact: 0417 675 917

    OFT Media Contact: 3247 5965