Avoid­ing dodgy prod­ucts

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion re­cently at­tended an in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights work­shop in Perth where mak­ers of prod­ucts, par­tic­u­larly elec­tri­cal items, show­cased phys­i­cal ex­am­ples of gen­uine and non-gen­uine items to high­light the dif­fer­ences.

A num­ber of coun­ter­feit prod­ucts pose a safety risk to con­sumers, in­clud­ing things like:

Phone charg­ers, which may cause an elec­tric shock or fire.

Cos­met­ics or per­fumes with in­gre­di­ents that can burn skin.

Clothes made with harm­ful poi­sonous dyes.

Sun­glasses that don’t pro­tect your eyes from UV rays.

“Con­sumer guar­an­tees” un­der the Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law mean prod­ucts must be safe, match the de­scrip­tion given and be of ac­cept­able qual­ity.

It is against the law to cre­ate a mis­lead­ing over­all im­pres­sion on the in­tended au­di­ence about the price, value or qual­ity of goods.

Tips to avoid buy­ing coun­ter­feit prod­ucts

Re­search iden­ti­fy­ing fea­tures of gen­uine ar­ti­cles, such as holo­grams or se­rial num­bers.

Be aware some man­u­fac­tur­ers of pre­mium brand prod­ucts have de­vel­oped tools for con­sumers to de­ter­mine whether an ap­pli­ance is gen­uine. De­tails can usu­ally be found on the of­fi­cial web­site for that brand.

Gen­uine elec­tri­cal items must meet Aus­tralian stan­dards — they should have ap­proval mark­ings. Visit en­er­gysafety.wa.gov.au.

Check busi­nesses are reg­is­tered with the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ment Com­mis­sion (asic.gov.au).

When buy­ing on­line find out about the seller’s rep­u­ta­tion by check­ing cus­tomer rat­ing sys­tems, on­line fo­rums and re­view web­sites.

Use a third-party pay­ment ser­vice like PayPal or a credit card for pay­ment pro­tec­tion.

When buy­ing from a busi­ness on eBay, choose the “Buy it Now” func­tion if pos­si­ble, as op­posed to auc­tion bid­ding, so you are cov­ered by the Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law.

If you’re buy­ing from a pri­vate seller, ask for proof that the item is gen­uine. The ACL gen­er­ally does not ap­ply pri­vate sales.

If you have bought an item you sus­pect is coun­ter­feit, speak to the re­tailer in the first in­stance.

If the re­tailer is in Aus­tralia and you can­not re­solve the mat­ter, lodge a com­plaint with Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion at com­plaint.com­merce.wa.gov.au.

If it’s from an in­ter­na­tional re­tailer you can re­port the mat­ter via econ­sumer.gov and to the over­seas-based fair trad­ing or con­sumer pro­tec­tion agency for that coun­try.

If you have paid by credit card, ask your card provider for a charge­back on the ba­sis you un­know­ingly bought coun­ter­feit goods/the item sup­plied is not as de­scribed. If you used Paypal, seek a re­fund via their dis­pute res­o­lu­tion process.

Gwyn­neth Hay­wood is the se­nior re­gional of­fi­cer at Con­sumer pro­tec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.