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Been Scammed? What Is Unfair Treatment From A Business?

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) offers protections to consumers against sales practices that are illegal for businesses to engage in when dealing with their customers. Here, we cite a few instances of unfair treatment: What are unfair contract terms? The fairness of any contract terms must be viewed objectively. It is said a contract can […]

Been Scammed? What Is Unfair Treatment From A Business?

Been Scammed? What Is Unfair Treatment From A Business?

By Aylward Game - Jan 12, 2022 Business Law

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) offers protections to consumers against sales practices that are illegal for businesses to engage in when dealing with their customers. Here, we cite a few instances of unfair treatment:

What are unfair contract terms?

The fairness of any contract terms must be viewed objectively. It is said a contract can be seen as unfair if it falls within one of the following categories. Note that the list is not exhaustive, meaning it is not confined to the following only:

  • The terms of the contract cause a significant imbalance between the rights and obligations of the business and the consumer
  • Are the terms purported by the business necessary in order to protect the legitimate interest of the business?

Unconscionable conduct

Unconscionable conduct from a business occurs one when a business knowingly exploits the consumer’s disadvantage known to the business. The courts over the years have developed ways to examine whether a particular conduct in question is unconscionable. For instance, the courts are likely to look into:

  • Parties bargaining power at the time of negotiating the contract terms
  • Whether the stronger party used tactics such as undue influence, undue pressure to get the terms accepted by the consumer?
  • Whether any one of the parties failed to act in good faith.
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Accepting payment without intending to supply the goods or service

The law prohibits businesses from accepting payment without having any intention to supply the goods or service. The law also prohibits businesses to supply goods or service that are materially different than those requested by the consumer. Apart from the availability and suitability of the goods or service, the law further prohibits businesses to undertake a timeframe to deliver the goods or service while they know or should have known that the delivery is not possible with the promised timeframe.

Pyramid schemes

Under the ACL, it is illegal to participate in any pyramid schemes preferred by a business. Historically, the pyramid schemes work by asking new participants in the scheme to make payment, known as participant payment, in order to join the scheme. The new members then are promised payments for recruiting other new participants.  

For advice or assistance with all consumer rights matters contact the Consumer Law Team at Aylward Game Solicitors today on 1800 217 217

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