NSW Fair Trading is the regulator under a large number of laws governing a range of businesses and other activities affecting consumers, tenants and not-for-profit organisations. It was established under the Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW). NSW Fair Trading administers fair trading laws, including but not limited to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Fair Trading looks after the rights of consumers, providing information and advice to consumers on their rights and how to obtain redress, as well as mediation services. At the same time it advises businesses and traders on fair and ethical practices with the aim of achieving fairness for all in the marketplace. Informing consumers and traders about their rights and responsibilities is an essential ingredient of its work.
NSW Fair Trading investigates suspected breaches of the ACL and uses dispute resolution as an important part of dealing with complaints from consumers and traders.
NSW Fair Trading acts as an impartial body in disputes between consumers and traders on fair trading issues. Should an issue arise, in the first instance, consumers are encouraged to approach the trader to discuss the issue and attempt to resolve the matter. If a resolution cannot be achieved, consumers are then able to approach Fair Trading to intervene and mediate the dispute.
Upon receipt of a written complaint, staff from Fair Trading will attempt to resolve the matter through a dispute resolution process. While Fair Trading’s intervention into a complaint often results in resolution, in some cases it is not possible to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both the consumer and the trader. In such cases, Fair Trading advises the consumer of other options available to them including, where appropriate, lodgement of a claim with the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT).
If matters such as misconduct or breaches of legislation are detected during the dispute resolution process, further assessments may be conducted to determine the most suitable course of action to rectify such issues, including possible investigation into the trader.
See Fair Trading website for more information.