If a dispute cannot be resolved by negotiation with the trader, a consumer can commence legal proceedings in the Magistrates Court. However, before commencing proceedings, it is essential to obtain legal advice regarding any alternatives to resolving the dispute. Also ask if there are any options for being compensated for consequential loss arising out of faulty goods or services.
A claim under the Australian Consumer Law must be commenced on a Form 9. The types of claims can include:
- Breach of a consumer guarantee relating to acceptable quality (goods)
- Services that have not been provided in a reasonable time, or are not provided with due care and skill
- Misleading and deceptive conduct, or unfair contract terms
If a settlement has been negotiated with a trader with the assistance of Consumer and Business Services, and the trader has failed to comply with the terms of that settlement (assuming it has been put in writing), an application can also be made to the Magistrates Court to enforce the agreement - see S8A of the Fair Trading Act 1987 (SA). Again it is best to obtain legal advice before taking this step.
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.