Contact Consumer Protection
Tel: 1300 30 40 54
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With Commissioner for Consumer Protection, David Hillyard
Enthusiasts refer to it as retail therapy, but it can also be incredibly frustrating to circle packed car parks, push your way through hordes of shoppers or visit the shops only to find the item you want isn’t even available.
Perhaps that accounts for Australians spending an estimated $27.5 billion dollars online last year, according to Australia Post's latest Inside Australian Online Shopping Report. From the comfort of your couch, with a few clicks you’ve paid for an item you could receive the same day.
But with more Australians forgoing a visit to the shops in favour of the internet, how do we avoid false sellers, scams and dodgy retailers – particularly those who disappear after your payment has processed?
Our usual advice for shoppers who encounter problems with purchases is to contact the seller and try to resolve it directly with them. However, we’ve seen a worrying increase in reports from consumers who have made purchases from an online retailer they can’t contact when troubles arise because the store has no physical address or phone number – or these details turn out to be bogus. And unfortunately, it’s often the case that if you can’t track down a seller, we may not be able to either.
It’s a good reason to be suspicious of unfamiliar sites and to consider the risks if an online retailer doesn’t provide a physical address, phone contact details or ABN that you can independently verify.
The following tips can help prevent you losing money while shopping online:
Make sure with any site that you read the terms and conditions, refund policy and delivery details before you make a purchase.
More information is available on our WA ScamNet website at www.scamnet.wa.gov.au or you can email email@example.com or call 1300 304 054.