Lecture 4. Consumer Protection


The CPA provides for the following consumer rights:

• Right to equality

• Right to privacy

• Right to choose

• Right to disclosure and information

• Right to fair and responsible marketing

• Right to fair and honest dealing

• Right to fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions

• Right to fair value, good quality and safety.

These rights are protected through supplier duties and prohibitions. Before providing an overview of these duties and prohibition it is important to address the applicability of the CPA to electronic transactions.
The provisions of the CPA which are applicable to electronic transactions are summarised below.

The CPA provides for the following supplier prohibitions:

  • Making false or misleading representations section 4(5)(b) –(c), section 29, section 41, section 30(1), section 37(1)
  • Engaging in unfair discrimination section 8-9
  • Unwanted direct marketing section 11
  • Exceeding the regulated duration of fixed term contracts or denying a consumer’s early termination section 14(1)
  • Repairing or maintaining goods without consumer pre-authorisation section 15(1)
  • Arbitrary bundling of goods & services section 21(1)
  • Provision of unsolicited goods or services section 21(1)
  • Misleading trade descriptions section 24(4)
  • Fraudulent or pyramid schemes or offers section 42(1), section 43(1)
  • concluding unfair, unreasonable or unjust agreements (price, marketing or negotiation) section 48(1) –(2)
  • Negative option marketing section 31(1)
  • Making promotional or loyalty programme offers without an intention to fulfil them s34(3), section 35(2), section 63
  • Pretending a person has won a competition section 36(2)
  • Promotion, offering or supplying goods or services upon the condition that the consumer will refer others section 38(1)
  • Contracting with, or knowingly taking advantage of, persons without legal capacity section 39(1), section 40(2)
  • Overbooking or overselling section 47(1)
  • Requiring consumers to waive their rights, assume obligations or waive supplier liability section 48(1)
  • Supplying unsafe, hazardous or defective goods

The CPA provides for the following supplier duties:

Suppliers must-

  • Permit consumers to cancel non-specialised advance bookings, reservations or orders section 17
  • Use prescribed notice or document formats or use plain understandable language section 22(1) –(2)
  • Disclose that goods are reconditioned or grey market section 25(1)
  • Provide written records of transactions section 26(2), section 50(1)
  • Provision of prescribed information by intermediaries section 27(1)
  • Inform consumers of the right to cancel direct marketing agreements section 32(1)