When is the last time you got a full refund?
It’s a question many Australians are asking themselves these days, with some wondering whether their payment was taken in a fake debit card or by mistake.
A new study by consumer rights group Consumer Watchdog suggests that the answer to that question could be far from clear.
The report says the majority of Australians are now entitled to a full or partial refund.
And the new research found Australians’ payments were taken at the most recent time the company had the money available, which is typically the end of the month.
In other words, the vast majority of people have a full payment, which could be worth up to $4,000 in value.
But the latest study suggests Australians have a different understanding of when the last payment should be made.
Consumer Watchdog’s Consumer Rights and Consumer Protection Director, John Howard, says Australians are also being left in the dark about when the refunds should be due.
“The vast majority are still entitled to pay their money back, and they’re not being given the opportunity to ask,” Mr Howard said.
“They’ve been told it’s coming this week, and when it does, when it’s due, we’ll know.”
Consumer Watchdogs calls on the Government to release the figures about refunds.
It says that, when you include all refunds and interest, Australians are still owed $4.4 billion.
While that is more than double the amount that Consumer Watchdogs has calculated is owed, it is still far short of what it needs.
As part of the new government’s reforms, refunds will be delayed by up to two weeks, and interest payments will be made every two weeks.
But there is a way around that, and that’s to put in place a three-day grace period to let the consumer know that the payment has been made.
Consumer Watchback said the new rules should have a significant impact on consumer confidence and encourage people to take on more debt.
Mr Howard said consumers should also be able to make a claim for their unpaid payments, regardless of the amount.
If you want to take the plunge, it’s very easy to do that.
Just call 1800 469 527, email [email protected] or go to the website at consumerwatchdogs, www.consumerwatchdog.org and select the ‘Ask a Question’ button.
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