Fair trading victoria cooling off period in a relationship

FAIR TRADING AMENDMENT (AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW) BILL Explanatory Memoranda

Compliance Team, Competition and Markets Authority, Victoria House, consumer law when dealing with undergraduate students. A copy is available need when deciding which university and course to choose, get fair treatment Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges). 5 days ago Be careful of post-holiday gym memberships, Fair Trading warns Fair Trading says people should ask if there is a cooling off period, or if they. Cooling-off periods only apply to a limited number of transactions IMPORTANT – With most contracts, you can't rely on a cooling-off period.

According to the Australian Medical Associationif you miss a medical appointment you may be charged a cancellation fee, so long as there is some notice in the surgery notifying patients that such a fee may be charged if you fail to attend an appointment.

Some professional services, such as specialist dental practices, charge thousands of dollars per appointment. If you simply decide not to keep your appointment or forget to cancel it, you are costing that business a lot of money. Over time, or if several clients cancel at the last minute, that business can suffer a serious financial loss and can be deprived of the opportunity to recoup the loss by seeing other patients.

Where you fail to keep your appointment, and have not given adequate notice of your intention to cancel, it is reasonable that a business can charge you a cancellation fee. If the fee you are charged is excessive, it may be regarded as an unfair contract term and unenforceable under Australian Consumer Law.

Dr Cynthia Lau, a General Practitioner from Vancouver, explains the similarities of some medical practice cancellation policies in Canada: Would you bail on a dinner date at the very last minute and not bother calling your date?

Businesses must comply with national unfair contract terms laws. These laws protect consumers against contract terms that are unfair, for example: Failure to disclose these conditions could be considered unfair due to lack of transparency.

Entering into a contract | ACCC

Doctors just ask patients to respect their time. For the most part, patients do not complain about this policy. Not all businesses or medical practices charge cancellation fees. The choice to do so is discretionary and, in many cases, influenced by a number of factors. For medical practices this can include: We are the only clinic in a small town of Replacement Of Appointment In some cases, it may be appropriate for the business to seek to replace your appointment time with someone else before charging you a cancellation fee.

These provisions interact with sections and 1 of the Australian Consumer Law Victoriawhich respectively provide for the ordering of pecuniary penalties and orders to redress loss or damage suffered by non-party consumers.

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The proposed section A deals with the definitions relevant to the new Division 2, and defines the expression the Fund as meaning the Victorian Consumer Law Fund referred to in section B 1and the expression non-party order as meaning an order referred to in section C 1. Section B 2 provides that certain amounts and monies must be paid into the Fund.

The proposed section B 3 provides that money must not be paid out of the Fund except in accordance with Part 7 of the Fair Trading Act The proposed section B 4 provides that the Treasurer may invest money in the Fund in such matters as the Treasurer determines.

The proposed section C deals with orders for payment to non- party consumers. Section C 1 provides that section C applies if, on the application of the Director of Consumer Affairs, a court makes an order a non-party order under section 1 of the Australian Consumer Law for an amount or amounts to be paid into the Fund to provide for the payment of money to non- party consumers.

Section C only applies to payments to non- party consumers where the related application has been made by the Regulator the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria. In relation to applications made by a party other than the Director, it is intended that the relevant defendant would generally be responsible for making payments to non-party consumers who have been identified or are easily identifiable.

This may include the return of some or all of the remaining monies to the defendant; making some or all of the remaining monies available for the purposes of sections D and E of the Fair Trading Act ; or any other treatment that the court considers appropriate. The proposed section C 3 provides that the court may specify that any amount paid into the Fund pursuant to the order may be applied to the costs of disbursing payments to non-party consumers made pursuant to the order.

The proposed section C 4 provides that the Director of Consumer Affairs is responsible for the distribution of money from the Fund to non-party consumers pursuant to a non-party order.

The proposed section C 5 provides that the distribution of money from the Fund to non-party consumers must be made in accordance with the non-party order and may only be made from the amount or amounts paid into the Fund pursuant to the order. The proposed section D deals with special purpose grants and provides that the Minister may, on the recommendation of the Director of Consumer Affairs, make payment out of the Fund for specified purposes.

The proposed section D 2 provides that a payment under subsection 1 may be made to the Director or to a non-profit organisation. Finally, the proposed section E deals with the administration expenses of the Victorian Consumer Law Fund. Proposed section E 1 provides that the Director of Consumer Affairs may approve payment from the Fund for any reasonable expenses incurred in administering the Fund. The relevant Australian Consumer Law provisions establish mechanisms for non-party consumer remedies.

The proposed Division 2 of Part 7 of the Fair Trading Act also interacts with section of the Australian Consumer Law, which relevantly deals with the circumstances in which a court may order a person to pay a pecuniary penalty to the State of Victoria.

There is also an interaction with section 1 of the Australian Consumer Law which deals with the circumstances in which orders to redress loss or damage suffered by non-party consumers may be made.

Section 3 of the Australian Consumer Law provides that the order must be an order that the court considers will redress, prevent or reduce loss or damage in described ways. Clause 21 inserts a note at the foot of section of the Fair Trading Actmaking it clear that section of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with the powers of the Director in relation to proceedings on behalf of consumers, is not intended to displace or limit the procedures for applications under section or of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria.

These provisions deal with grants of legal assistance in relation to consumer disputes, which are not currently provided for in the Fair Trading Act The proposed section AA and AB are intended to achieve greater alignment with similar schemes operating in other Australian jurisdictions, including the provisions of Fair Trading Act of New South Wales, which deal with grants of legal assistance.

This provision interacts with section of the Fair Trading Actbut is distinct from section in that it deals with grants of legal assistance, rather than powers of the Director of Consumer Affairs to institute or continue proceedings on behalf of, or defend proceedings brought against, a person or persons in respect of a consumer dispute. Proposed section AA 3 provides that, despite subsections 1 and 2the Director of Consumer Affairs may decide not to grant assistance if the Director is of the opinion that it should not be granted because of the person's financial position.

Proposed section AA 5 provides that legal assistance granted under section A does not extend to expenses other than the costs of legal representation; and prescribed expenses. Section AA 6 provides that expenses incurred in the provision of assistance under section A and court fees must be met out of money from the Consolidated Fund, which is, to the necessary extent, appropriated accordingly. Section AA 7 defines the expression consumer dispute as having the same meaning as it has in section of the Fair Trading Act Proposed section AB deals with costs and expenses relating to proceedings to which an assisted person is a party.

Section AB 3 provides that, if an order for costs is made under section AB 1 bthe costs must be paid by the Director; and section AB 4 provides that, except in the case of costs payable to the Director, money awarded by a court in favour of an assisted person is payable to the person without deduction.

Clause 23 repeals section A of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with substantiation of claims. The power to require a person who publishes certain statements or notices in certain circumstances to produce proof of the claim or representation made in the statement is being replaced by Division 2 of Part of the Australian Consumer Law, which gives the regulator the power to require that claims be substantiated in described circumstances.

Clause 24 inserts a new section P of the Fair Trading Act to support the administration of national consumer laws, and deals with the circumstances in which information may be shared in described circumstances. Proposed section P 1 provides that the Director may enter into, or approve of, an arrangement an information sharing arrangement with a relevant agency for the purposes of sharing or exchanging information held by the Director and the relevant agency.

Proposed section P 5 provides that any fair trading agency or law enforcement agency referred to in subsection 4 is, despite any other Act or law of the State, authorised to refer a matter referred to in section P 4 to the Director or to conduct an investigation into the matter jointly with the Director.

Section P 7 defines the expressions fair trading agency, law enforcement agency and relevant agency for the purposes of section P. Clause 25 deals with the appointment of inspectors for the purposes of carrying out inspection powers under Part 10 of the Fair Trading Act This clause amends section 4 of the Fair Trading Actproviding that, in sectionthe expression interstate Act means an Act of another State or Territory that is prescribed for the purposes of this subsection.

This provision is necessary to deal with interstate Act name changes that will occur as a consequence of implementing the Australian Consumer Law across the jurisdictions. Clause 27 amends section 1 of the Fair Trading Act which deals with emergency entry. This clause amends section 1 to update references to product safety orders, reflecting that fixed term ban orders will not form part of the national product safety provisions under the Australian Consumer Law.

Clause 28 amends section B of the Fair Trading Act which deals with monitoring compliance with embargo notices under section of the Fair Trading Act Embargo notices do not form part of the Australian Consumer Law. This clause interacts with Part of the Australian Consumer Law, and amends section B by updating references to reflect the new product safety provisions of the Australian Consumer Law and related terminology.

Clause 29 amends section A 1 of the Fair Trading Act Section A 1 deals with the circumstances in which a court may order the destruction of dangerous goods. The Australian Consumer Law does not include an equivalent provision. Clause 30 amends section of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with the requirement of the Director to give a copy of an undertaking under section to the person who made the undertaking.

This clause interacts with section of the Australian Consumer Law, and amends section of the Fair Trading Act by making it clear that the requirements in section also applies to undertakings under section of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria. Clause 31 amends section 3 of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with the register of undertakings that the Director is required to maintain. This clause interacts with section of the Australian Consumer Law, and amends section 3 to make it clear that the requirements in section 3 of the Fair Trading Act also apply to an undertaking made under section of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria.

Clause 32 amends section 1 and 2 of the Fair Trading Act which deal with the circumstances in which a court must accept an undertaking by the Minister or the Director and must not require a further undertaking from any other person. This clause interacts with section of the Australian Consumer Law.

Clause 32 1 amends section 1 of the Fair Trading Act by providing that section 1 also applies to section of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria.

Ending a lease or residency - Consumer Affairs Victoria

Clause 32 2 amends section 2 of the Fair Trading Act by providing that section 1 also applies to section of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria. Clause 33 amends section 1 of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with non-punitive orders--corrective advertising orders. This clause amends section 1 by updating references to the Parts of the Fair Trading Act which this Bill proposes to amend, removing references to Parts 2, 2B, 3, 4 and 5 of the Fair Trading Act Clause 34 amends section 8 of the Fair Trading Act This clause interacts with the following provisions of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria: Chapters 2, 3 and 4, and sections, and The Australian Consumer Law does not include a directly equivalent provision to section of the Fair Trading Act This clause 22 therefore amends section 8 of the Fair Trading Act by defining the expression prescribed proceedings with reference to updated provisions of the Fair Trading Actincluding provisions of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria.

Clause 35 amends section of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with circumstances in which a defence is established in relation to a prosecution under the Fair Trading Act in relation to a contravention of prescribed provisions. Clause 35 a amends section 4 of the Fair Trading Act by removing the reference to section 27 of the Fair Trading Act which is to be repealed as a result of this Bill repealing Part 2 of the Fair Trading Act Clause 35 b amends section 5 of the Fair Trading Act by removing the reference to section 32ZB 5 which is to be repealed as a result of this Bill repealing Part 2A of the Fair Trading Act Clause 36 amends section of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with circumstances in which facts and findings in certain proceedings are evidence of a contravention of certain proceedings.

This clause substitutes section in order to provide that an equivalent provision applies to relevant sections of the Fair Trading Actincluding relevant and equivalent provisions of the Australian Consumer Law Victoriaby updating provision references. Clause 37 amends section 1 a of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with orders against persons found to have contravened the Fair Trading Act This clause amends section 1 of the Fair Trading Act by omitting the reference to Part 2 of the Fair Trading Actdealing with unfair practices, which is to be repealed by this Bill.

Clause 38 amends section A 1 of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with the power to serve an infringement notice.

The Australian Consumer Law does not include a provision for the issue of infringement notices under the Australian Consumer Law as it applies as a law of Victoria. This clause amends section A 1 of the Fair Trading Act to provide that section A applies to prescribed offences against the Fair Trading Act including a provision of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria or the regulations.

The amendment allows for the issue of infringement notices for prescribed offences against the Australian Consumer Law Victoria. The form of an infringement notice is prescribed under section 13 of the Infringements Act The proposed Division 4 of Part 11 provides for the issuing of interim bans, recall notices or safety warning notices under the Australian Consumer Law in Victoria. Under sectionsand of the Australian Consumer Law, the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs may issue interim bans, recall notices or safety warning notices.

Proposed Division 4 of Part 11 sets out the framework for the issuing of those bans or notices in Victoria. Proposed sections B and C set out the processes for the issuing, renewing, amending or revoking such bans or notices, and sets out the notice requirements. Proposed section C allows applications for the review of those notices to be brought in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal the Tribunal.

Proposed Division 5 of Part 11 deals with the enforcement of the Australian Consumer Law Victoriaand the jurisdiction of courts and the Tribunal to deal with matters arising under the Australian Consumer Law of Victoria. This is consistent with the power of the Tribunal under section 32ZA of the Fair Trading Actwhich will be repealed. Proposed section F confirms, for the avoidance of doubt, that actions for damages under section of the Australian Consumer Law may be brought in the Tribunal or in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Proposed section G provides that the power of the Magistrates' Court to order a pecuniary penalty under section of the Australian Consumer Law is not limited by the civil jurisdiction limits for civil proceedings in the Magistrates' Court.

This ensures that a Magistrate may order pecuniary penalty amounts of up to the maximum amounts specified in section 3 of the Australian Consumer Law. Proposed section H 1 confirms the powers of the Supreme Court, County Court and Magistrates' Court to make orders where it finds that a person has contravened a provision of the Australian Consumer Law and that another person has suffered loss or damage as a result of that contravention.

Proposed section H 2 provides that a court, including the Supreme Court, County Court or Magistrates' Court, may make a declaration that a provision of the Australian Consumer Law has been breached. Proposed section H does not limit the orders that a Court may make under the Australian Consumer Law. Clause 41 repeals section of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with the obligation of a supplier to give a purchaser or prospective purchaser a document which complies with section of the Fair Trading Act Section and of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria deal with uniform laws requiring a supplier to provide proof of transaction and enabling a consumer to request an itemised bill.

Clause 42 substitutes section A of the Fair Trading Actwhich deals with the requirement of a supplier to comply with a request for an itemised bill. Section of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria deals with requests for itemised bills. This clause provides that section of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria does not apply to a contract for the provision of legal services to which the Legal Profession Act applies, as the latter Act provides for different time periods for compliance with a request for an itemised bill.

Further detail about the intended operation of section of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria is provided at clause Clause 43 repeals sections and of the Fair Trading Act Section of the Fair Trading Act deals with a requirement to offer to return a removed part to a consumer in certain circumstances.

The Sting Of Service Fees: When Can You Legally Be Charged A Cancellation Fee?

This clause repeals section as the provision restates the common law, and was included in the best practice Australian Consumer Law reforms. Section of the Fair Trading Act deals with a requirement to ensure that consumer documents are clear. This clause repeals section as an equivalent does not form part of the Australian Consumer Law Victoriahowever aspects have been included in the Australian Consumer Law Victoria at section 2, which defines the expression "transparent", and section 24, which deals with the term "transparent" in the context of unfair terms of consumer contract.

Clause 44 inserts a new section B in the Fair Trading Act This clause deals with current provisions of the Fair Trading Act which are not intended to apply to the administration or enforcement or other otherwise deal with the Australian Consumer Law Victoria. Sections of the Fair Trading Act not described in the proposed section B will apply for the purposes of administering and enforcing the Australian Consumer Law Victoria by virtue of proposed section 9 3 of the new Part 2.

This clause interacts with section 73 of the Australian Consumer Law Victoriawhich deals with permitted calling hours for negotiating an unsolicited consumer agreement. Proposed section 1 a provides that the Governor in Council make regulations for or with respect to prescribing calling hours with respect of unsolicited consumer agreements under section 73 of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria.

Section 1 a of the Fair Trading Act deals with prescribing safety and information standards under Part 3. Clause 45 1 b repeals sections 1 b and 1 ca of the Fair Trading Actas this Bill proposes to repeal Parts 5 and 4 of the Fair Trading Act which are currently referred to in these sections.

Clause 45 2 inserts a new section 3 into the Fair Trading Actproviding that regulations made under proposed section 1 a may alter the operation of section 73 of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria. This clause inserts a transitional provision in relation to the proposed repeal of Part 2B of the Fair Trading Act Part 2B deals with unfair terms in consumer contracts.

Proposed clause 19A of Schedule 3 of the Fair Trading Act provides for the transition to new unfair contract terms laws under the Australian Consumer Law Victoria. Section 23 2 of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria provides that a contract continues to bind the parties if it is capable of operating without the unfair term. Section 27 1 of the Australian Consumer Law Victoria provides that if a party to a proceeding alleges that a contract is a standard form contract, it is presumed to be a standard form contract unless another party to the proceeding proves otherwise.

Proposed clause 19B deals with transitional arrangements for the jurisdiction of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Proposed clause 19B provides, despite the amendments to the Fair Trading Act by the Bill, the Tribunal continues to have jurisdiction on and from 1 January in relation to any matter or conduct that took place before that date under the Principal Act as in force at the time the matter 28 or conduct occurred.

The intention is to provide for a smooth transition to the Australian Consumer Law Victoria. Proposed clause 19C provides that the Fair Trading Information Standard Australian Builders Plate Standard Regulations are saved, despite the repeal of the regulation-making provisions at sections 47 and 1 a of the Fair Trading Act by this Bill.

Proposed clause 19C interacts with proposed section of the proposed Marine Safety Actand provides that the Fair Trading Information Standard Australian Builders Plate Standard Regulations continue in operation and may be amended or revoked as if the empowering sections of the Fair Trading Act remained in force.

Subject proposed clause 19C athe are revoked on the coming into force of section of the Marine Safety Act Clause 47 also inserts proposed clause 19D into Schedule 3 to the Fair Trading Act to provide a power to make regulations containing provisions of a transitional nature, including matters of an application or savings nature, arising for the enactment of the Bill.