The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is charged with a general enforcement role in relation to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and, where appropriate, consumer grievances should be referred to the Commission.
Consumer and Business Services is a South Australian Government body whose functions include the following:
- receive and act upon complaints from consumers;
- carry out investigations and research into matters affecting the interests of consumers;
- publish reports and provide information on consumer matters;
- give advice to consumers on the protection provided under the law;
- report on matters of importance to the Minister of Consumer Affairs;
- in certain limited circumstances, take legal action on behalf of a consumer.
These functions enable Consumer and Business Services to give wide protection to consumers in everyday transactions, whether the sum of money involved is large or small.
The main statutes supervised by CBS are:
- Australian Consumer Law (Sch 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)
- Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (SA)
- Conveyancers Act 1994 (SA)
- Fair Trading Act 1987 (SA)
- Land Agents Act 1994 (SA)
- Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994
- Land Valuers Act 1994 (SA)
- Prices Act 1948 (SA)
- Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA)
- Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995 (SA)
CBS has broad powers to require any person (whether a consumer or a trader) to provide information and to produce books and records for inspection by the commissioner or her or his authorised officers. Authorised officers are also entitled to enter any premises for the purpose of inspecting any goods on those premises.
Complaints can be lodged with CBS over the telephone. However, consumers are required to try to resolve the dispute with the trader first. For further information on how CBS can help and how to lodge a dispute or complaint see Lodge a Complaint on the CBS website.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.