Consumer Watch with Cheryle Dennis: What to know about your rights ahead of Valentine’s Day purchases
Sending your loved one wilted flowers on Valentine’s Day probably won’t get you the reaction you were hoping for.
Before you get a bunch of dead roses thrown in your face, Consumer Protection hopes there’s time to explain you have rights under Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Consumer guarantees kick in on products purchased through Australian-based stores, including online.
When a V-Day gift arrives but isn’t what was advertised, such as flowers that are significantly different to the photo, or are wilted, you have a right to a remedy under the ACL, such as a refund, replacement or repair.
You also have rights if your special someone receives their gift late and you were guaranteed a V-Day delivery.
In the first instance, contact the retailer and see what they can do for you. Remember — you do not have to accept a credit note as a remedy.
Guarantees also apply on products purchased through overseas traders, however it is much harder to enforce, so keep this in mind when shopping.
West Aussies should continue to be vigilant to scammers when shopping online. In 2023, online shopping scams claimed 305 WA victims, who lost a combined $631,315.
To avoid being scammed, look out for social media businesses that display few or no contact details, as well as poorly edited ads with bad English. Also, don’t pay for gifts through direct bank transfer, only use PayPal or credit card so you can dispute or request a reversal of charges if your gifts don’t arrive.
If you’re looking online for a special someone, you should be on high alert for romance scammers as Valentine’s Day approaches.
Once a romance scammer has established trust, they will share elaborate stories and ask for money they say is to cover costs with illness, injury, business expenses, duty or customs fees, legal costs, family crises, or travel. Consumer Protection advises you to never share your bank account or credit card details with, or transfer money to, someone you haven’t met in person.
For more information about romance scams, visit scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/dating-romance
If you have tried to seek a remedy for your dead flowers without success you can make a formal complaint with Consumer Protection at consumerprotection.wa.gov.au or call 1300 30 40 54.
Cheryle Dennis is acting senior regional officer for Consumer Protection in the Mid West
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