Consumer Action Law Centre is a Melbourne-based consumer advocacy and campaigning organisation that provides free and independent legal assistance and financial counselling.
Consumer Action Law Centre

Consumer InterAction

Issue 4 of 2013

New Director of Policy and Campaigns Denise Boyd has been leading the development of Consumer Action's Policy and Campaigns Plan for the coming year. Members of the legal practice and financial counselling service have provided their valuable insights gained through speaking with Victorian consumers on a daily basis, and have nominated areas of consumer detriment they’d like to see addressed. The policy and campaigns team have identified where it believes the Centre’s expertise and advocacy can lead to tangible outcomes for Australian consumers. We look forward to publishing our plan and putting it into action over the coming weeks but, for now, here’s what we’ve been up to lately.
Do Not Knock

Default judgments in the spotlight

A new report from the Consumer Action Law Centre calls for changes to Magistrates Court procedures to protect consumers from inaccurate law suits and inappropriate judgments. Each year 30,000 to 40,000 Victorians sued in the Magistrates Court for small debts fail to lodge a defence, meaning the plaintiff succeeds without allegations being fully scrutinised.
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Updated self help kits now online

Consumer Action has updated its factsheets on dealing with financial hardship, private car park fines, and seeking a refund from Goddard Elliot Lawyers. There are now over 30 self-help kits available for use by consumers, financial counsellors and support services.
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Payday lending news

Consumer Action has slammed the Federal Government’s eleventh hour decision to allow payday loan users to be charged fees for the processing of direct debit repayments. The centre has also released a new infographic showing why payday lending is irresponsible lending.
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Funeral insurance marketing exposed

ASIC has blown the whistle on the funeral insurance industry’s advertising tricks by publicly airing concerns about the advertising of Hollard Financial Services Pty Ltd, which trades as Real Insurance.
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Retirement villages

Consumer Action is very supportive of the reforms proposed in the Regulatory Impact Statement for the Retirement Villages Amendment (Records and Notices) Regulations 2013 and the Retirement Villages Amendment (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations 2013.
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Simply Energy & Red Energy lag behind

Energy retailers as a whole have responded to the community’s concerns about door-to-door sales, with fewer complains make to But it appears Simply Energy and Red Energy didn’t get the memo.

Regulators urged to act

Consumer Action has urged national and state energy regulators to ensure any move to an emission trading scheme results in lower power bills for Australians. Households’ annual energy bills could drop by around $185 if regulators remain vigilant and ensure energy retailers pass on savings to their customers.
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Debt collection lawyer faces the music

Consumer Action has welcomed a VCAT ruling that debt collection lawyer, Ms Pippa Sampson, breached professional conduct rules when she ‘grossly exceeded the legitimate assertion of the rights’ of the video stores she represented.
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