Pre-packed articles can often contain misleading information as to the actual weight or measure of the items. The National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth) details the requirements for pre-packaged articles and prescribes the offences and penalties that apply where a package contains misleading information as to the true weight of its contents.
The Australian Consumer Law prohibits the charging of the higher price in instances where multiple pricing appears for an item [s 47]. If goods have more than one displayed price the supplier must offer the items for sale at the lower of the two displayed prices.
Bait advertising refers to the practice of advertising goods or services at a price designed to attract interest, whilst failing to ensure that there are reasonable supplies of the goods and services to respond to the likely demand. This can be an honest mistake on the part of the supplier, however, sometimes businesses knowingly engage in the practice with the intention of convincing consumers to purchase a more expensive product due to unavailability of the advertised item (sometimes referred to as a ‘bait and switch’ scam). Section 35 of the Australian Consumer Law (Schedule 2, Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)) prohibits this practice.
Referral selling involves a supplier offering benefits (e.g. a rebate or commission) for a consumer to purchase goods and services if the consumer will provide referrals for other prospective consumers. This practice is prohibited under s 49 Australian Consumer Law.
Harassment or coercion
It is illegal for a supplier or trader to use physical force, undue harassment or coercion in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services. The same provision applies to dealings connected to payment for goods or services; the sale of an interest in land or payment for an interest in land (s 50).