By Claire Reilly

The ACCC has launched a new smartphone application to educate consumers on their warranty, lay-by and refund rights while shopping, and to make it easier for consumers to store important information in case they need to organise the return of a product bought at a retail store.

The ACCC Shopper app is available for both Android and iOS users and is divided into sections addressing refunds and returns, warranties, lay-bys, product claims and a dedicated area to set reminders for warranty expiries and to store digital copies of receipts.

Based on Australian Consumer Law, each section is designed to answer common questions about shoppers’ rights when buying from both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.

ACCC deputy chair, Delia Rickard, explained.

“Simple disputes over returns, refunds or replacements often leave shoppers confused about their rights,” said Rickard. “The ACCC Shopper app will help to take the worry out of Christmas shopping.

“Keeping your proof of purchase and checking the store’s returns policy if you have simply changed your mind can be important,” she said. “But the Australian Consumer Law provides stronger protections against faulty products, often allowing for repairs, replacements or refunds outside of a manufacturer’s or retailer’s warranty period.

“If products don’t work as promised or don’t work at all you have rights as a consumer regardless of whether you bought it online, in a shop, full-price or on sale. The app explains the steps to take when enforcing these consumer rights.”

The app can be downloaded for free from both the Google Play online store for Android and Apple’s App Store.

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