Most South East traders pass fair trading tests

Published: 
19 Feb 2010

After a rigorous review of more than 150 businesses in the South East, most have been found to be compliant with fair trading laws, but where breaches have been found action has been taken.

Compliance staff from the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs (OCBA) recently visited retailers, car dealers, builders, service stations and pubs across the region to check up on their trading practices.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, David Green, said "South East residents can be assured that most local traders are complying with the law by selling products that are safe and correctly labelled, honouring their warranty responsibilities and selling accurate quantities of goods.

OCBA’s trade measurement inspectors visited a range of traders, checking around 65 measuring instruments such as petrol pumps and weighing scales, with three spirit measures found to be outside the allowable tolerances. Of the 275 pre-packed articles examined, 56 were not marked with the required quantity statements.

The 11 traders found to be in breach have received written warnings, and repeat offenders risk a penalty of up to $20,000 under the Trade Measurement Act 1993 for supplying incorrect quantities.

"Customers expect a fair deal when they hand over their hard-earned cash and we need to be sure they are getting exactly the amount they have paid for," said Commissioner Green.

Product safety officers examined 184 new and second-hand items, across 31 retailers, to identify any safety concerns for consumers. Four prams were withdrawn from sale and the traders were advised not to offer the items for sale until they have been modified to meet current safety requirements. Twenty non-compliant blind cords were also withdrawn and the retailer is under investigation.

Written warnings were also issued to three car dealers, two land agents and five builders for breaches of their relevant legislation. One land agent is under further scrutiny and an alleged ‘back yard’ second-hand car dealer is also being investigated.

Commissioner Green said "These checks highlight some unfair trading practices in the region which are being addressed, and I encourage consumers with any concerns about a trader’s conduct to contact OCBA."

For more information or advice consumers can visit OCBA’s local office at 11 Helen Street, Mount Gambier, or phone 131 882 (local call cost), or visit www.ocba.sa.gov.au

Contact details

Media inquiries

Carolyn Warman (08) 8204 9507

South Australia Consumer & Business Services