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New powers for NSW Fair Trading Commissioner to resolve small claims

New powers for Fair Trading

Instead of going through a months-long tribunal process, consumers who cannot resolve complaints about items worth less than $3000 will soon be able to take their issue straight to the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner.

A bill being introduced to Parliament on Wednesday will give the commissioner powers to direct businesses to repair, refund or replace goods, the NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean, said.

“This means fair, quick and cheap resolutions for consumers and businesses, and will be an alternative to the often costly process of courts and tribunals," he said.

In an ideal world, consumers and businesses work out a resolution without outside help, the minister said - however, for some consumers that process fails.

Rosie Garthwin has spent almost 12 weeks going back and forth with Samsung after her $200 mobile phone broke, seven months into its two-year warranty. Despite finally being promised a replacement after she involved consumer advocacy organisation Choice, Ms Garthwin said she had still not received a new device.

The full article by Rachel Clun can be found on The Sydney Morning Herald.