Commissioner's Blog: You can’t buy love but you can buy local this Valentine’s Day

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Don’t disappoint loved ones this Valentine’s Day with online flowers or gifts that don’t arrive in time, or arrive in time but are not what you ordered.

If you have left your shopping to the last minute, make sure to seek delivery guarantees when ordering online, so you know your flowers or gifts will arrive in time.

For gifts that arrive but aren’t what was advertised online, such as flowers that are significantly different to the photo on the website, or are wilted, under Australian Consumer Law - you have a right to a remedy - such as a refund, replacement or repair.

Consumer guarantees kick in on products purchased through Australian-based stores including online. Guarantees also apply on products purchased through overseas traders, however it is much harder to enforce, so keep this in mind when doing your shopping. If you do have issues with products once they arrive or they are delivered late, speak with the retailer first to see what they can do for you.

If a loved one doesn’t like their Valentine’s Day gift and want to return or exchange it, retailers are not legally obliged to offer a remedy for a ‘change of mind’. Before buying a gift, it’s a good idea to check the store’s return policy just in case.  

Consumers should continue to be vigilant to scammers when shopping online. In 2022, online shopping scams claimed the highest number of victims in Western Australia with 274 people losing a combined $867,774.

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.

It’s also worth checking product review websites and take the time to shop around. Don’t be hasty with purchases, practice the pause… and think, could this be a scam? If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

To avoid disappointing your loved ones this Valentine’s Day, shop in local brick and mortar stores for flowers or gifts.

If you have tried to seek a remedy yourself without success you can make a formal complaint with Consumer Protection online or call 1300 30 40 54.

Trish Blake Commissioner 2023
Trish Blake Commissioner 2023, by CP Media
Trish Blake

Commissioner for Consumer Protection


Consumer Protection
Media release
13 Feb 2023

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