Monday, June 24, 2024

Fair Trading returns $11.2 million to Queensland consumers

Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) says it successfully clawed back $11.2 million for Queensland consumers in 2022 following a spike in consumer complaints since the pandemic.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said with more Queenslanders feeling cost-of-living pressures, it’s important that consumers are getting what they paid for and that they feel they are getting value for money.

“Last year the OFT finalised more than 19,300 complaints from Queensland consumers,” Minister Fentiman said.

“And the highest number of consumer complaints continued to be for the personal and household goods industry – with the OFT finalising more than 6,200 complaints.

“This category includes purchases of everyday items such as whitegoods, appliances, hardware, clothing and footwear – so it’s no surprise this continues to be at the top of the complaints list.

“However, since the pandemic, complaints have soared for these types of purchases, with more than a 50% increase since 2019,” she said.

There has also been an increase of more than 80% in complaints for the personal and household services industry since the pandemic – including complaints about services such as whitegoods repairs, removalist services and cleaning companies.

In 2022 the OFT assisted thousands of Queenslanders to get refunds, including obtaining a full refund of $38,000 for a consumer who was sold a dodgy camper trailer and assisting a consumer to get their new vinyl flooring replaced after the freshly laid flooring started to lift and became uneven.  

“The redress received for Queenslanders was seen across many industries including a $3,400 refund for cancelled airline flights,” the Attorney said.

“In another example, the OFT assisted a Queenslander in obtaining a full refund of $46,000 after purchasing a motor vehicle which was not what was advertised.”

The top 5 most complained about industries in Queensland in 2022:

  • Personal and household goods (e.g. furniture, whitegoods, TVs, computers) – 6,256
  • Personal and household services (e.g. repairs to whitegoods, removalists services, cleaning, gardening, etc) – 2,719
  • Motor vehicle sales – 1,340
  • Real estate agents (excl resident letting) -1,101
  • Motor vehicle service, repairs, parts – 1,036

Consumer complaints in 2022 by region, including the most complained about industries:

Location of consumerTotal number of complaints finalisedRedress obtained by OFT for these consumersTop five industries complaints related to
Brisbane area12,299  $4,093,3501. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle sales4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts5. Real estate agents
Cairns region660$279,732 1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle sales4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts5. Real estate agents
Townsville region552$711,088  1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle sales4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts5. Real estate agents
Mackay region330$716,745 1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts4. Motor vehicle sales5. Real estate agents
Rockhampton region500$432,780 1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle sales4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts5. Travel agents
Wide Bay region611$617,644 1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle sales4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts5. Real estate agents
Toowoomba region538$740,636 1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle sales4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts5. Real estate agents
Sunshine Coast region1,475$930,958 1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Accommodation, Hotel, Motel4. Motor vehicle sales5. Travel agents
Gold Coast region2,345$2,752,193 1. Personal and household goods2. Personal and household services3. Motor vehicle sales4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts5. Travel agents
Total19,310$11,275,130 

Consumers who believe they have been treated poorly and are unable to reach an outcome with a trader can lodge a complaint with the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/law/fair-trading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

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