What if I am a consumer and I have a dispute with a bank or other financial institution?
You can contact the credit provider's independent dispute resolution scheme. This will either be:
the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO).
What if I can't make repayments on my loan contract because of financial hardship?
You may be able to make an application to change your loan on the basis of financial hardship caused by a temporary hardship such as illness or unemployment. Contact your lender as soon as possible.
If your lender refuses your hardship application you can contact your lender's independent dispute resolution scheme.
See the CORE online module Mortgage stress - a self help guide for more information about what you can do if you are having problems paying your mortgage.
What if I have a problem in relation to my mobile phone?
For information and tips on buying a mobile phone including on choosing a mobile phone, and deciding on a pre-paid plan or a contract, go to the MoneySmart website.
For information on what suppliers of telecommunications services must do in relation to sales and service, billing, provision and management of credit, changing supplies and complaint handling see the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code.
If you are having problems with your phone where you go to sort out the problem depends on what the problem is:
If your phone is not working, contact the store that sold you the phone or the network provider.
If you have problems with the bill, contract, coverage, network faults, being overcharged, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) on 1800 062 058. The TIO will also look into complaints about faulty handsets where the handset was bought as part of a contract or bundled deal. This is free help if you can't sort out your problem directly. You can find out more about how to make a complaint at Complaints about telecommunications and utilities.
If you are having problems with managing your phone bills talk to your mobile service provider or the TIO immediately. You may also need to contact a financial counsellor. See Money Problems for more information.
How can I check if something I am buying is under finance?
You can check the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) to see if something like a car, artwork, boat or other valuable second hand property over $5000 is under finance or some other security interest before you buy it. This is a national register.
It is a database that contains information about personal property that is subject to finance or other security interest. Real estate is not covered.
If the business you are buying from does not ordinarily sell the goods you are buying and they are valued at more than $5000, you may want to check the PPSR.
A fee is charged to check the register.
What are my rights in relation to door to door sellers?
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a guide for consumers Knock! Knock! Who's There? which provides information about consumer rights, including asking a sales person to leave, asking for time to consider the offer and detailing the cooling off period.
The ACCC has also produced an Indigenous education video on door to door sales. It can be viewed on YouTube.
Where can I get more information?
Contact Consumer Credit Legal Service WA on (08) 9221 7066 for advice if you have a dispute with a financial institution.
Contact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Infoline on 1300 300 630 or visit its website for information on the obligations of credit providers. It deals with complaints about misleading and deceptive conduct in the provision of goods and services.
Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service or visit its website to download a factsheet on financial difficulty.
Visit the ASIC MoneySmart website for how to complain about financial services and products and sample complaint letters.
If you have queries about your rights as a consumer in relation to good and services you have bought go to Contracts.
Go to the Personal Property Securities Register website for more information about the register including the fees payable and fact sheets on how to interpret motor vehicle results.
For more information on PPSR when buying a car see the My Car website This website resource provides essential information for car buyers, whether buying privately, through a car dealership or at auction. Use this website to learn about your legal rights when buying a car and where to get help if something goes wrong.
My Dardy Car is a radio documentary series and Facebook page from Consumer Protection, Department of Commerce WA specifically for Indigenous consumers on their rights when buying a car or getting it repaired. You can listen to the My Dardy Car audio series at the Department's website.
For more information on insurance go to the Insurance Council of Australia Understand Insurance website. It provides practical information to help you find out more about insurance and make decisions that meet your needs.
Last reviewed: 16/10/2015