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Consumer Law in Australia.

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Introduction

A consumer is someone who purchases or uses goods or services. Overtime there has been a need for greater consumer protection due to various methods of which manufactures/suppliers can use to exploit the vulnerability of consumers. These methods include: undue influences, unconscionable conduct, misleading and deceptive behaviour, which are evident in various contemporary issues, such as credit and marketing innovations. As a result of increasing consumer awareness due to various acts, cases, media reports, the concept of justice has been reformed to achieve greater consumer redress. Credit is the purchase of good and services in advance of future payments such as the use of credit cards and loans. Our society is becoming more 'cashless', with credit providers making loans more accessible than ever before. The growing risk of exploitation by unscrupulous lenders is inevitable as the number of purchases via credit is becoming a more popular means of purchasing goods and services. Most of the responses to issues involving the use of credit are legal responses as most aspects of credit transactions are regulated by the consumer credit code. ...read more.

Middle

Most types of consumer credit transactions are well protected under the consumer Credit Act 1995 (NSW). Furthermore, it is true to justify that through the constant changes of laws in the legal system, justice for consumers is increasing and becoming highly affective to a certain extent as new legislations are put into action to protect consumers. Marketing innovations is a process by which a business creates a consumer interest in its products. Overtime, the marketing process has become increasingly more sophisticated, especially with the advent of e-commerce. Therefore recent innovations in global marketing technologies are of particular interest to law makers. Several marketing innovations have increased significantly in recent years one of these is telemarketing. Direct commerce has increased enormously in Australia over the last ten years, particularly via phone calls, which is called telemarketing. People who don't wish to receive telemarketing calls can contact the Do Not Call register and can list their private or domestic fixed line. Under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (cth), it is an offence for a telemarketer to call a number listed on the register. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) successfully took actions against target for misleading and deceptive conduct. The federal court ordered among other things, that Target publish correct ads in newspapers and prime time TV, and apologise to all consumers who were misled by the ads. Hence it's correct to state that the law through government organisations (ACCC and ACMA), and also tribunals and courts, is fairly effective in achieving justice for both individual and society. This is because, government organisations such as ACMA, are willing to take legal action against business that failing to comply with the laws regulating direct commerce. On the other hand, the effectiveness of laws which protect consumers against unfair or unwanted practices by direct marketeers relies on consumers being aware of the protection the law offers and upon their willingness to make complaints. In conclusion, the changing nature of society and their ever changing values and attitudes has required some legislative changes. The effectiveness of these changes through improved accessibility and equality under the law is improving, although a long way from perfect. ...read more.

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