Online shopping and your rights

Online Shopping

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Online shopping can be a convenient way to buy the things you want. Know how to protect yourself online, and what to do if you don’t get what you pay for.

What to look out for when you shop online

Not sure if you can trust a website with your personal information? Follow our simple steps to shop online with confidence.

Make sure the website is secure

Before you enter personal or payment details online, make sure the website is secure.

Signs of a secure website:

  • Your web address bar shows a closed padlock padlock or key.
  • The web address starts with ‘https://’
  • The company has complete contact details, including a street address, phone number and email.

If you haven’t heard of the business, check reviews online to help you decide whether to shop with them.

Find out if the seller is overseas

If the seller is not in Australia, you may not have the same consumer rights. It could be hard to contact them for a repair, replacement or refund.

An overseas seller might charge you an international transaction fee. Also make sure to check if you will be charged an international transaction fee by your credit or debit card provider.

Avoid being charged two fees: check if your credit or debit card provider charges a fee for overseas transactions.

Take care with buy now pay later

Buy now pay later service, like Afterpay, Humm or zipPay, let you pay for something in instalments. You might pay every fortnight, instead of paying the full amount upfront.

You don’t pay interest on the purchase. Instead you’re charged fees. It’s easy to overspend or lose track of how much you owe. So make sure you can afford the repayments.

Know your rights as a buyer

Read the terms and conditions carefully, including:

  • the returns policy
  • postage or delivery fees
  • any packaging or handling charges
  • local currency costs, such as currency conversion fees if the purchase is from overseas
  • any international transaction fees
  • any import duty or taxes

Check your bank statements

If you shop online, check your credit or debit card and bank statements regularly. Make sure you’ve been charged the right amount.

If you see something you don’t recognise, this could be a sign that a scammer has your personal details. See banking and credit card scams to find out the signs of a scam, how to report it and get help.

What to do if something goes wrong

Sometimes, even when you’re careful, things can go wrong:

  • You don’t get what you pay for.
  • It’s not in good condition.
  • You’ve been overcharged.

Follow these steps to get a refund or exchange.

1. Know your rights

Visit the ACCC’s online shopping page to find out about your rights as a customer.

2. Contact the seller

Check the seller’s website for details on how to contact them or make a complaint. It may have been a mistake — if so, explain the issue to them and suggest how they can fix it.

3. Call your bank

If you used your credit or debit card to shop online but didn’t get what you paid for, contact your bank. They may be able to give you a chargeback.

If you used a PayPal account, follow PayPal’s dispute resolution process.

4. Contact the ACCC or consumer affairs

If you can’t sort things out with the seller, contact the ACCC or the consumer affairs office in your state. They may be able to help you sort things out with the seller.

If you think you’ve been scammed, see banking and credit scams for how to report it and get help.

How to protect yourself online

Get the most out of internet shopping by staying safe online. Follow our simple steps to protect your money and your personal details.

Keep your details safe

Password-protect all your devices. If you’re using a shared or public computer, never save passwords, and always log out of your accounts — don’t just close the browser window. See the Australian Cyber Security Centre for tips to protect your information online.

If you’re using a public WiFi network, don’t send or receive sensitive information — for example, don’t log in to your online banking or use your credit or debit card.

Record your online purchases

Keep a record of your online purchases, including photos and descriptions of the items. In particular:

  • Make sure you receive an email confirming your purchase before closing your browser.
  • Write down your receipt or reference number.
  • Check that you’ve been charged the right amount.

Wealthness Pty Ltd ABN 13 231 248 112  [t/a Better Financial Planning Australia]  is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL No. 236523. It is important to be aware that Better Financial Planning Australia is not authorised by Infocus to provide advice relating to credit services or property advice. Infocus is not responsible for any advice outside of the scope of this authorisation and should you wish to act on any of this general information, please first seek professional financial advice.

Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia will endeavour to update the website as needed. However, information can change without notice and Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia does not guarantee the accuracy of information on the website, including information provided by third parties, at any time.

This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be specific advice on any particular matter. Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information contained herein but should seek appropriate professional advice based upon their own personal circumstances. Although we consider the sources for this material reliable, no warranty is given and no liability is accepted for any statement or opinion or for any error or omission.

Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information which is contained in this website. Except insofar as any liability under statute cannot be excluded, Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia and its employees do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person.

Wealthness Pty Ltd (ACN 613 313 250) [t/a Better Financial Planning Australia] Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL Licence No. 236523.

Source: ASIC Moneysmart

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