For release 05 June 2023


New research from the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) shows that 42 per cent of Victorians were given misleading information about their consumer rights.

CPRC CEO, Erin Turner said that too many Victorians are being given incorrect information by businesses.

“CPRC conducted a survey of 1,500 Victorians to understand what kinds of problems they had as consumers. What stood out is that many people are being given incorrect information about their rights.

“This is particularly concerning as more people face cost of living pressures. Many people would benefit from a refund, replacement or repair than having to buy a new item all together,” Turner said.

Common myths about your rights as a consumer:

Myth 1: You can’t return products you purchased on sale. 8% of Victorians were told this but the Australian Consumer Law applies even when there’s a sale or discount.

Myth 2: Sales are final. 9% of Victorians were incorrectly told they couldn’t return a product after purchase.

Myth 3: You have to return the product in the original packaging. 11% of Victorians were told they could only get a refund with packaging. If the product is faulty or doesn’t meet the consumer guarantees, you don’t need the packaging to get a fair fix.

Myth 4: You need an extended warranty. 13% of Victorians were told they should buy an extended warranty but many of these warranties cover you for things you already have a right to under the Australian Consumer Law.

Myth 5: You have no right to a refund when the manufacturer’s warranty period expires. 7% of Victorians were told this but warranties are different to your consumer guarantee rights. In many cases, your rights can outlast a warranty as products you buy need to last for a reasonable period.

CPRC’s research also shows that a lot of people don’t raise a complaint with a business when something goes wrong.

“Most people with a problem got in touch with the businesses by phone, email or in-store (46 per cent).

“A large group of people said they felt that raising a problem wasn’t worth the effort (28 per cent) or the cost involved (15 per cent).”

Others indicated they weren’t confident action would solve the problem or felt the process was too complicated.

“This points to a need to look at dispute resolution options for consumer issues and to address both the perception that complaints processes will be difficult and to improve the way complaints are handled,” Turner said.

More information, including the full report, Consumer Issues in Victoria is available at: 

CPRC CEO, Erin Turner is available for comment on request, contact CPRC Media on or ph: 0493 539 466.