Competition and consumer law
The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) covers the relationships between suppliers, wholesalers, retailers and customers. Its purpose is to promote fair trading and competition, and provide protections to customers. The CCA covers:
- product safety and labelling
- unfair market practices
- price monitoring
- industry codes
- industry regulation – airports, electricity, gas, telecommunications
- mergers and acquisitions.
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which is contained in a schedule to the CCA, includes specific clauses relating to the treatment of customers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for enforcing the CCA. In Western Australia, other legislation to protect customers is regulated by the Consumer Protection unit at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
If you intend to sell products or services you will need to be familiar with your rights and obligations under the CCA. These may include:
- ensuring standard form contracts do not have unfair terms
- honouring customer guarantees
- ensuring the safety of products and services
- complying with rules on sales practices (such as price, customer information, lay-by agreements and unsolicited customer agreements).