Australian Consumer Law (ACL)

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is the national law for fair trading and consumer protection.  It applies from 1 January 2011 and it provides consumers with rights with respect to:

  • consumer guarantees;
  • unsolicited consumer agreements covering door-to-door sales and telephone sales;
  • unfair contract terms, covering standard form contracts;
  • sales practices; and
  • unfair business practices.

For consumers, the ACL is enforced jointly by the Department of Commerce (DoC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Whilst the regulators do not resolve consumer complaints they can provide a forum for the consumer and trader to attempt to come to an agreement.  The ACCC and DoC do not have the ability to force a trader or consumer to settle the dispute.

You may also wish to read the following fact sheets for more information on specific protections provided under the ACL:

Consumer guarantees fact sheet

Unsolicited Consumer Agreements fact sheet

To find out more about your rights when buying goods and services in Australia, you can watch the videos prepared by Australian consumer protection agencies called ‘My Consumer Rights’.

To access these videos click the topic or language, below, that you would like:

·        English

·        Arabic

·        Dinka

·        Farsi

·        Karen

·        Nepalese

·        Tamil

·        my shopping rights

·        shopping refunds

·        guarantees and warranties

·        contracts

·        lay-by agreements

·        resolving issues and lodging complaints


If you believe a business has breached your consumer rights you can contact our telephone advice line for legal advice.