Australian consumer wins

The review of the Australian Consumer Law landed earlier this week. Thanks to your support, there were some big consumer wins.

Regulators called for changes to the law so that:

  • You can get a refund when an expensive product has lots of small problems (like cars!)
  • Businesses will have to sell safe products
  • There will be quicker and more effective product recalls
  • Unfair contract terms are removed from insurance
  • Businesses that break the law will have to pay big penalties.
  • From fairer insurance to bigger fines for bad businesses, it’s good news. While we didn’t get everything we wanted, some of these recommendations will go a long way to strengthen your rights as a consumer.

It’s not over yet. We need to keep up the fight to make sure these recommendations become law. So join us in supporting the proposed changes and sign and share our petition to help us show government that consumers care about their rights.

Thanks again for your support!


Hi Brendan,

Strolling down memory lane today (as my new topic post shows lol). Reading through that list above did any actually make it into law?


Good question, interesting to revisit this list :+1:

There’s been a lot of development in this area. On the positive side, the ACCC released this motor vehicles guide in 2018, and there have been other clarification of the ACL since the review that should better enable consumers to exercise their rights through free or low-cost mechanisms. There are also specific new lemon laws in QLD.

However, there still appears to be a lot of tension when people have trouble with a new vehicle. We still hear about consumer being stuck in repair cycles, we still hear about issues with vehicles and caravans at a manufacturing level. Here’s one I received via Twitter showing an issue with ‘orange peel’ paint (photo below).

We’re also running an ongoing campaign asking the auto industry to improve its returns policies.

This has not been achieved, there is still no ‘General Safety Provision’ or equivalent in Australia, which means that situations like Takata’s ‘replace faulty airbags with more faulty airbags’ situation continue to occur. We’re continuing to campaign on this issue too.

@Fred123 might have some thoughts to share on this. In some cases, the system does it’s job and recalls are actioned quickly and effectively. I’ve seen cases where products seem to linger or are quietly removed from sale without much information being distributed.

Sadly, this fight is ongoing.

There have been record fines for big businesses since the review. However, the size of many of the large corporations mean that almost size fine is swallowed and it has been argued on this forum that large businesses hedge their risk to a degree but then operate under a ‘cost of doing business’ rationale. In some industries, we’re now seeing criminal penalties for executives rather than fines.


Consumers had three big wins today:

  1. There is now a best interests duty for mortgage brokers. This means they will be legally obligated to give you guidance in your best interests, according to your financial circumstances.
  2. Unfair contracts law is extended to insurance
  3. ASIC to regulate expenses-only funeral financial products

I know a lot of people here in the CHOICE Community have joined our campaigns on these issues - thank you for supporting our work and making this happen.


60 years ago there were few laws to protect consumers against unsafe products. Since then, we’ve been shining a light on dangerous goods and practices and with the help of our supporters, we’ve had some amazing product safety wins. Here are just 5 of them:


Congratulations. Great stuff. Keep up the good work.



While many of us may not be around for the next 60 years, I possibly can say on behalf of current and future consumers, we hope that Choice is…keeping up the good work in protecting consumers and their rights.