Unfair Practices

Section 6 of the Fair Trading Act states that it is an unfair practice for a supplier (e.g. business or seller) to engage in an unfair practice.

Unfair Practices

6(1) In this section, “material fact” means any information that

would reasonably be expected to affect the decision of a consumer

to enter into a consumer transaction.

(1.1) It is an offence for a supplier to engage in an unfair practice.

(2) It is an unfair practice for a supplier, in a consumer transaction

or a proposed consumer transaction,

(a) to exert undue pressure or influence on the consumer to

enter into the consumer transaction;

(b) to take advantage of the consumer as a result of the

consumer’s inability to understand the character, nature,

language or effect of the consumer transaction or any matter

related to the transaction;

(c) to use exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity as to a material

fact with respect to the consumer transaction;

(d) to charge a price for goods or services that grossly exceeds

the price at which similar goods or services are readily

available without informing the consumer of the difference

in price and the reason for the difference;

(e) to charge a price for goods or services that is more than

10%, to a maximum of $100, higher than the estimate given

for those goods or services unless

(i) the consumer has expressly consented to the higher price

before the goods or services are supplied, or

(ii) if the consumer requires additional or different goods

and services, the consumer and the supplier agree to

amend the estimate in a consumer agreement;

(f) to charge a fee for an estimate for goods or services unless

the consumer

(i) is informed in advance that a fee will be charged and

informed of the amount of the fee, and

(ii) has expressly consented to be charged the fee.

 (3) It is an unfair practice for a supplier

(a) to enter into a consumer transaction if the supplier knows or

ought to know that the consumer is unable to receive any

reasonable benefit from the goods or services;

(b) to enter into a consumer transaction if the supplier knows or

ought to know that there is no reasonable probability that the

consumer is able to pay the full price for the goods or

services;

(c) to include in a consumer transaction terms or conditions that

are harsh, oppressive or excessively one-sided;

(d) to make a representation that a consumer transaction

involves or does not involve rights, remedies or obligations

that is different from the fact.

(4) Without limiting subsections (2) and (3), the following are

unfair practices if they are directed at one or more potential

consumers:

(a) a supplier’s doing or saying anything that might reasonably

deceive or mislead a consumer;

(b) a supplier’s misleading statement of opinion if the consumer

is likely to rely on that opinion to the consumer’s

disadvantage;

(c) a supplier’s representation that goods or services have

sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics,

accessories, ingredients, quantities, components, uses,

benefits or other attributes that they do not have;

(d) a supplier’s representation that the supplier has a

sponsorship, approval, status, qualification, affiliation or

connection that the supplier does not have;

(e) a supplier’s representation that goods or services are of a

particular standard, quality, grade, style or model if they are

not;

(f) a supplier’s representation that goods have or have not been

used to an extent that is different from the fact;

(g) a supplier’s representation that goods are new if they are

used, deteriorated, altered or reconditioned;

(h) a supplier’s representation that goods have or do not have a

particular prior history or usage if that is different from the

fact;

(i) a supplier’s representation that goods or services are

available for a reason that is different from the fact;

(j) a supplier’s representation that goods or services have been

made available in accordance with a previous representation

if they have not;

(k) a supplier’s representation that the supplier can supply

goods or services if the supplier cannot;

(l) a supplier’s representation involving a voucher that another

supplier will provide goods or a service or will provide

goods or a service at a discounted or reduced price if the

first-mentioned supplier knows or ought to know that the

second-mentioned supplier will not;

(m) a supplier’s representation that goods are available in a

particular quantity if they are not;

(n) a supplier’s representation that goods or services will be

supplied within a stated period if the supplier knows or

ought to know that they will not;

(o) a supplier’s representation that a specific price benefit or

advantage exists if it does not;

(p) a supplier’s representation that a part, replacement, repair or

adjustment is needed or desirable if it is not;

(q) a supplier’s representation that the supplier is requesting

information, conducting a survey or making a solicitation

for a particular purpose if that is not the case;

(r) a supplier’s representation that a person does or does not

have the authority to negotiate the terms of a consumer

transaction if the representation is different from the fact;

(s) when the price of any part of goods or services is given in

any representation by a supplier,

(i) failure to give the total price of the goods or services, or

(ii) giving less prominence to the total price of the goods or

services than to the price of the part;

(t) when the amount of any instalment to be paid in respect of

goods or services is given in any representation by a

supplier,

(i) failure to give the total price of the goods or services, or

(ii) giving less prominence to the total price of the goods

and services than to the amount of the instalment;

(t.1) a supplier’s representation regarding an agreement for

continuing provision of services if the supplier fails to

provide prominent and full disclosure of the details of the

agreement, including duration, changes in price, renewals,

extensions or amendments, or if the supplier fails to obtain

the consumer’s express consent to renewals, extensions or

amendments of the agreement;

(u) a supplier’s giving an estimate of the price of goods or

services if the goods or services cannot be provided for that

price;

(v) a supplier’s representation of the price of goods or services

in such a way that a consumer might reasonably believe that

the price refers to a larger package of goods or services than

is the case;

(w) a supplier’s representation that a consumer will obtain a

benefit for helping the supplier to find other potential

customers if it is unlikely that the consumer will obtain such

a benefit;

(x) a supplier’s representation about the performance, capability

or length of life of goods or services unless

(i) the representation is based on adequate and proper

independent testing that was done before the

representation is made,

(ii) the testing substantiates the claim, and

(iii) the representation accurately and fairly reflects the

results of the testing;

(y) a supplier’s representation that goods or services are

available at an advantageous price if reasonable quantities of

them are not available at such a price, unless it is made clear

that quantities are limited;

(z) a supplier’s representation that appears in an objective form

such as an editorial, documentary or scientific report when

the representation is primarily made to sell goods or

services, unless the representation states that it is an

advertisement or promotion;

(aa) anything specified in the regulations.