Commissioner's Blog: Extra shopping hours and gift buying tips
With Acting Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard
Extended retail trading hours for the Christmas period began on the 5th of December for the Perth metropolitan area, giving shoppers an extra 51 hours to find gifts for family and friends.
Major retailers are allowed to open as early as 7am on weekdays and Saturdays, 8am on Sunday and close later at 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
According to WA’s Minister for Commerce Michael Mischin, the extended trading for December will provide greater convenience, choice and flexibility for Perth consumers when doing their pre and post-Christmas shopping this year and is in line with the State Government’s commitment to the gradual easing of restrictions. Shops are to remain closed on Christmas Day as with previous years.
The extended retail trading hours end on January 1, 2016 and extended trading (8am to 6pm) has also been approved for the Australia Day public holiday on January 26, 2016. For more information on trading hours, click www.commerce.wa.gov.au/tradinghours.
It is timely to remind shoppers to exercise their consumer rights, especially if the Christmas gifts they buy need to be returned.
Consumers are entitled to a refund, replacement or repair if the product they buy is faulty, unsafe or not as described. In the past, Christmas has been haunted by late deliveries of gifts, disappointment with the product, problems returning gifts and difficulties in getting refunds.
There are strong laws in place to protect consumers and give them a guarantee that the products they buy from Australian-based retailers, including those trading online, are free from defects, fit for their intended purpose and match the description in any advertising.
However, if consumers want to return a gift because it’s the wrong size, they don’t like the style or colour or just want to exchange it for another gift they prefer, then the returns policy will differ from store to store. These types of returns are completely at the retailer’s discretion but they must abide by their stated returns policy.
If you receive a gift card, make sure you take note of the terms and conditions and expiry date. You should try to redeem gift cards as soon as possible after receipt, as it’s believed Australian retailers make 300 million dollars from unclaimed gift vouchers each year.
Consumer information is available at your fingertips by downloading Consumer Protection’s app, iShopWA, from the App Store or Google Play. Receipts for gift purchases can be stored and reminders of gift card expiry dates can be set. WA shoppers who wish to seek advice or complain about an issue with a retailer, can contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 2020: Please note the iShopWA app is no longer supported. Consumer Protection recommends the ACCC Shopper app, which offers similar functionality and is available in both the App Store and Google Play.
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