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   Jul 05

Fines may be doubled for retailers of faulty electrical goods

Erin has welcomed new government regulations for tougher penalties against retailers who sell faulty electrical goods. Photo: Nic WalkerAfter wrapping a new set of Christmas lights around the tree and settling back for a quiet night, Erin Dee was startled by a sudden loud crack and smoulder of smoke.
Nanjing Night Net

“I could smell something burning after I heard a loud pop and crack,” she said.

After flicking off the power switch, Ms Dee, of Epping, found part of the electrical cord had been singed.

“It sparked and set something off. This was something wrapped around a big flammable Christmas tree in the loungeroom,” she said.

“It could have easily have set something on fire.

“Had I not been there to turn it off immediately who knows what could have happened.”

After getting a poor response to her complaint from the retailer who sold her the lights late last year, Ms Dee has welcomed new government regulations to toughen penalties against retailers selling faulty electrical goods.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked at how little the retailer cared when I told them what happened,” she said. “They were less than helpful and assured me the lights complied with Australian safety standards.”

The NSW Department of Fair Trading has decided to double on-the-spot penalties for traders selling “non-compliant unsafe” electrical items. It means fines will increased from $500 to $1000.

The Department of Fair Trading also took Ms Dee’s complaint seriously. The Christmas lights were recalled and she received a refund for two sets she bought.

The Department of Fair Trading is introducing new protections for consumers and is demanding greater transparency from conveyancers, pawnbrokers and electrical appliance retailers.

Proposed new state government regulations will mean that people will be able to request emailed, itemised accounts of all conveyancing transactions.

Plans to change the Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Regulation will mean traders will need to clearly inform consumers about interest charges and the total amount of money they will be required to pay to redeem their goods under a pawn agreement.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is seeking community feedback on four regulations it is reviewing: Conveyancers Licensing Regulation 2006, Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Regulation 2008, Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006, Co-operative Housing and Starr Bowkett Societies Regulation 2005.

“These are significant regulations that affect electricity consumer safety, pawnbrokers and second hand dealers, co-operative housing societies and conveyancers licensing,” he said.

“The regulations provide legislative support and administrative detail for the effective operation of important fair trading laws. We want interested parties to contribute to this process.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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