How millions of Australians are making a costly Christmas shopping mistake – here’s how to avoid being dudded
- Nearly 1 in 5 Australians are still buying extended warranties with purchases
- Consumer group Choice is urging Australians not to bother this Christmas
- They say extended warranties are a ‘sales trick’ to squeeze money from shoppers
Australians are wasting big money at the tills every Christmas by purchasing extended warranties that offer nothing more than your legal rights.
A CHOICE survey of 1112 Australians found nearly one in five shoppers made the costly error in the lead up to the festive season.
The consumer watchdog warned shoppers not to bother with the extra expense.
Australians are ‘wasting’ hundreds of dollars at the tills every Christmas (pictured: shoppers in Sydney ahead of the festive season)
‘Don’t waste your money on an extended warranty,’ Choice Consumer Rights Expert Julia Steward said.
She said extended warranties largely replicate or underplay your existing rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
‘They’re a sales trick to squeeze more money out of you that ignore your existing rights under the law. If someone tries to push an extended warranty on you, ask them ‘what does this give me beyond the Australian Consumer Law’,’ she said.
The consumer advocate is warning shoppers not to bother with the extra expense in the lead up to Christmas and Boxing Day Sales
Investigations in 2013 and 2015 by CHOICE found retailers heavily pushing extended warranties and often misleading people about their rights.
‘Remember, your rights are often longer and more comprehensive than what you receive from a warranty. Your rights aren’t one-size-fits-all. Under the law, the products you buy should be eligible for refund, replacement or repair depending on the expected lifespan of the product. Not what the company says the warranty is,’ says Steward.
CHOICE also issued new advice on options if your Christmas or Boxing Day shopping doesn’t go to plan.
Shoppers are eligible for a full refund, repair or replacement for faulty products.
A CHOICE survey found nearly one in five Australians are still buying extended warranties even when they offer nothing more than your legal rights (pictured: a crowd of people walk around the Melbourne CBD on Monday December 7)
The consumer group says customers can contact their credit or debit card provider to reverse the charge if the retailer isn’t playing fair.
‘Under some circumstances, your bank or payment service may refund you,’ Ms Steward said.
‘It’s important that you’ve kept records and tried to resolve things with the retailer first, as typically your bank will expect you’ve done this first.
‘Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading in your state or territory are a good next step if you’re unhappy with the retailer’s response. It’s important to tell these bodies so they can act if there’s a broader issue at play.’
CHOICE has also issued new advice on options if your Christmas or Boxing Day shopping doesn’t go to plan