Your rights when buying something

This publication is for: 

When you buy goods and services including disability-related purchases, you have rights under the Australian Consumer Law.

Your rights when you buy something explains your consumer rights and the steps you can take to resolve problems. It is written in easy english, which is more accessible for people who have difficulty reading and understanding written information.

This publication was developed by the state/territory consumer protection agencies and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Go to the ACCC website: Your rights when you buy something (publication)

It is also available in the following languages:

Your rights when you buy something

This booklet is about your rights when you buy something.  Rights are the things that everyone should be able to

  • get
  • have
  • do.

This booklet has some hard words. The first time we write a hard word it is boldWe write what the hard word means.

What do you buy?

Products are things you buy and use every day. For example

  • food
  • anything in your house
  • products to help with your disability.

Services are things you pay another person to do for you. For example

  • a hairdresser to cut your hair
  • a cleaner to clean your house
  • a support worker to help you at home
  • services to help with your disability.

What is a seller?

A seller is a person who sells products and services to you.

A seller works for a business. You pay the seller for the products and services.

There are lots of ways to buy products and services from a seller. For example, you might
buy something

  • from a shop
  • on the internet
  • on the phone.

You might also buy from a person who comes to your front door. This person is called a door-to-door seller.

Before you buy something

Before you buy something you should

  • tell the seller what you want or need
  • ask the seller questions about what they are selling
  • make sure you understand what they tell you
  • take your time
  • read the contract. A contract is a piece of paper which tells you what you and the seller must do. A contract can also be called a service agreement.

You can ask someone you trust to help you.

You should get a receipt every time you buy a product or service. A receipt is a piece of paper that says you paid for the product or service.

You should keep your receipts in a safe place.

If the seller does not give you a receipt, you should ask for one.

Sometimes things go wrong

The seller may not tell the truth about the product. For example, the seller said they would send the product to you for free.

But the seller makes you pay for sending the product to you.

The seller may bully you. This means they may push you to buy something you do not want.

The product you buy might be broken. For example, you buy a laptop and the screen does not work.

You might get something different to what you want. For example, you buy brown shoes on the internet. But the seller sends you
blue shoes.

You might get bad service. For example, you pay for a cleaner to clean your whole house.

The cleaner does not clean the bathroom.

If something goes wrong you might feel

  • cheated
  • angry
  • upset.

You do not have to feel this way.

There are laws to protect you if this happens.

The law when you buy something

The Australian Consumer Law protects you if something goes wrong. The law says

  • you can say you are not happy with the product or service
  • if the problem is small, you can get help to fix it
  • if the problem is big, you can get your money back or a new product.

The law says the seller must help you. This law is called a consumer guarantee.

What to do if something is wrong

Contact the business. Tell them

  • something is wrong with the product or service
  • you want the seller to fix the problem.

The business might ask you for your receipt.


Sometimes when you buy something you will get a warranty. A warranty is a promise from the seller to fix a problem.

The warranty might only last  1  year.

Some sellers try to sell you a longer warranty.

This is called an extended warranty. This can cost more money.

You can say no to an extended warranty.

Remember your rights.

Sometimes you can get a problem fixed for free.

Door-to-door sellers

A seller may come to your front door to try and sell you something.

You do not have to let them in.

You can say no.

You can say you will think about it.

You can ask them to leave.

Keep your personal information safe.

Do not give a door to door seller

  • your driver’s licence
  • your credit card number
  • your bank account numbers.

You can put a sign on your door.

The sign can say: Sales people do not knock. Please leave.

You can get a copy of a sign from the consumer agency in your state. These are listed at the end of this booklet.

If you want to buy from the door-to-door seller

The law says

  • you do not have to pay money for 10 working days
  • the seller has to give you the contract in writing
  • you have 10 working days to change your mind. This is called a cooling-off period.

You can ask the seller to give you more information in writing.

You can ask someone you trust to help you.

Get help to buy products and services for your disability

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can help you buy some products and services with your NDIS money.

There are rules about what you can buy with your NDIS money.

You can contact the NDIS if you need help with what you can buy with your NDIS money.

1800 800 110

Who can help?

You can contact the consumer agency in your state. A consumer agency can help you to use your consumer rights.

Australian Capital Territory

Access Canberra

13 22 81

New South Wales

NSW Fair Trading

13  32  20

Northern Territory

Consumer Affairs

1800  019  319


Office of Fair Trading

13  74  68

South Australia

Consumer and Business Services

13  18  82


Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

1300  654  499


Consumer Affairs Victoria

1300  558  181

Western Australia

Consumer Protection, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

1300  304  054

Consumer Protection
Last updated 29 May 2019

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