The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) came in five years ago to help protect consumers. It is now being reviewed to make sure it is up to date.

ACCAN made 11 recommendations to the ACL Review. We want to make sure the ACL keeps pace with a number of new issues affecting communications consumers. Technology is ever changing and can lead to many benefits for consumers, sometimes laws struggle to keep up with these changes. ACCAN’s submission calls for a closer look at some of these gaps in the law, especially around digital marketplaces and new hybrid goods and services provided as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Summary of ACCAN’s key concerns:
• Look into the need for a retail ombudsman.
• Need for better comparator tools for important services (e.g. broadband performance monitoring).
• Making sure financial penalties are effective.
• Extension of unfair contract term provisions (e.g. to insurance contracts).
• Improvements in consumer information around extended warranties.
• Looking at how well the ACL protects consumers in digital purchases.
• Looking at how well the ACL protects consumers of combined digital/physical goods and services (e.g. IoT)
• Greater publication of guidance notes and tribunal decisions to help consumers better understand their consumer guarantee rights in relation to specific services (e.g. telecommunications services).
• Look at the need for the potential telecommunications carve out in section 65 of the ACL.

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