Commissioner's blog: Don't let wedding planning tie you in knots
Your wedding can be one of the happiest days of your life, but it may also end up being one of the most expensive.
Covering the costs of all the things you need, such as a venue, catering, outfits and equipment hire, can soon add up – so it’s important to be across your consumer rights before you start shopping around.
With more than 9,500 weddings taking place in Western Australia last year, there are times when things don’t go exactly to plan.
Businesses closing down, not being able to contact traders and items not matching the description or samples are just some of the issues Consumer Protection receives complaints about when it comes to weddings. We also hear about disputes when it comes to bonds, deposits and payments, as well as suppliers taking money for things they can’t provide.
Consumers should be aware that goods provided should be of acceptable quality and services should be delivered with due care and skill. This means that a wedding dress should match the description given, suppliers should supply on time and the venue should be fit for purpose.
Before you begin to pay for products or book services, it’s important to research the business you’re thinking of choosing by checking online and asking friends or family for reviews. This will help prevent any hiccups from happening before or on your wedding day.
When it comes to making payments, you should avoid paying the full amount upfront unless you’re receiving the goods or services at the same time. Instead, pay only a reasonable deposit – we recommend no more than 10 per cent if possible, with progress payments as and when things are supplied.
Avoid paying by EFT (electronic fund transfer) and instead consider paying by credit card or selecting ‘credit’ on your debit card, as it may give you an option to dispute the transaction if you don’t get what you paid for. Paying by PayPal is another secure payment option.
If things don’t go to plan, that’s when your consumer rights can be a handy wedding assistant. To find out more about your rights under the Australian Consumer Law, contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or visit: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/your-consumer-rights-...
Commissioner for Consumer Protection
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