Happy New Year From ICAN ! by lindahy


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                                                                                     January 2006
                                                                                       Edition 6

 Happy New Year
 From ICAN !
 We would like to thank everyone who helped ICAN achieve some major
                                                                                        Subscribe to the
                                                                                         ICAN E-News
 milestones in 2005. ICAN Highlights included winning the Queensland
 Department of Tourism, Fair Trading and Wine Industry Development
                                                                                 can then use their EFTPOS (Electronic
 Consumer Advocacy Award, being sited as the best practice model in
                                                                                 Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) to
 the area of Consumer Advocacy in the National Indigenous Consumer
                                                                                 take money from your bank account
 Strategy Action Plan, “Taking Action, Gaining Trust” 2005-2010 and
                                                                                 on payday, or take your keycard to
 financial support from the Trade Practices Act Consumer Trust to create a
                                                                                 an ATM to take money from your
 website, call centre and television advertising campaign.
                                                                                 bank account.
 ICAN would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Office of
                                                                                 What’s the problem?
 Indigenous Policy and Coordination and the Department of Immigration
 and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs for re-funding the project from
                                                                                 Book up can be good when you need
 2005 -2007.
                                                                                 to buy food for family but you have
                                                                                 no money.
 After a well earned break the team at ICAN is keen to meet the new-
 year head on. 2006 will see ICAN establish new partnerships, including
                                                                                 But if you hand over your keycard
 a Personal Finance and Consumer Education Training Partnership with
                                                                                 and PIN number to a trader, you
 the Commonwealth Bank and a Partnership Agreement with the National
                                                                                 lose control over your bank account.
 Indigenous Consumer Strategy Implementation Group.
                                                                                 If you hand over your keycard you
                                                                                 can’t get money from an ATM or
 With so much going on, make sure you keep an eye out in this space for
                                                                                 buy things from another trader. It
 ICAN’s monthly update.                                                          also means that you can’t use your
                                                                                 keycard when you go to town or

Have Your Say on “Book Up”                                                       another community.

                                                                                 Traders try to take money from your
NT Minister for Justice Dr Peter         whose business is buying and selling
                                                                                 bank account, but sometimes there
Toyne recently released a Book           goods like food, fuel, cars, washing
                                                                                 is no money there. Some traders
Up Discussion Paper during events        machines and services like taxi
                                                                                 might then check your bank account
mentioned in ICAN’s article “What’s      travel, charter flights and motor
                                                                                 many times before that money goes
the story with book up, ICAN views”      car repairs. Book up lets people get
                                                                                 in but each time they check it costs
in the December ICAN E-News              goods and services on credit without
                                                                                 $1 or more.
Edition 5. For those of you who          having to wait for the next cheque to
didn’t see the article, the Northern     arrive or for money to go into a bank
                                                                                 Bad book up is when more money
Territory Department of Justice kindly   account.
                                                                                 than you owe is taken from your
contributed the following.
                                         Many traders will not let you book up
What is “book up”?                       unless you give them your keycard
                                         and PIN number or your social              Have Your Say on
Book up is when traders let you buy      security cheque. They do this to               “Book Up”?
things now but pay for them later..      make sure they can get your money
                                         to pay back the book up. The trader
                                                                                  Continued Next Page....
A trader is a person or company

                                                                         Funded by
                                                         Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination
                                                             Department of Immigration and
                                                           Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
bank account or all the money is
taken from your bank account and
you have no money left to buy food.       Do You Have a Right to a Refund?
Bad book up is when a trader will not
give back your keycard when you ask       How well did you go this Christmas? You might have given or received
for it.                                   some gifts that weren’t truly appreciated. Some stores may let you
                                          exchange gifts as a good customer relations policy, but they don’t
Handing over your keycard and PIN         have to by law.
number to a trader is also against the
rules of the bank. When you get a         You can return goods and ask for a refund, exchange or repair if the
keycard the bank tells you not to let     goods you purchased;
anyone else know your PIN number
but they also say if you do give your         •   Have a fault that you could not have known about at the time
PIN number to someone and they                    of purchase;
take all your money, it’s your fault          •   Are not the same as the description provided by the
because you broke the bank rules by               salesperson or advertisement;
giving them that PIN number.                  •   Do not match the sample you were shown at the time of
                                                  purchase; and/or
If you have no money and are allowed          •   Do not do the job as you were led to believe.
to purchase goods like cigarettes,
airfares, taxi fares, fridges and TV’s    You can not return goods for a refund if you;
it means you might have to pay off
the book up before you can use your           •   Change your mind or no longer want the goods;
money to buy food.                            •   Realise you can not afford the goods;
                                              •   Found the same item at a cheaper price elsewhere;
What can we do about it?                      •   Chose the wrong size or colour;
                                              •   Knew about a particular fault prior to purchase; and/or
The Northern Territory government             •   Were responsible for causing fault.
could do nothing and leave book up
the way it is, or they could make laws       ‘No refunds’ or ‘No refund on sale items’ signs are illegal
to ban all book up. But the Northern
Territory Government knows that           Information kindly supplied by the Office of Fair Trading Queensland.
there is good book up and bad book
up. That means that something needs       Call ICAN on 1300 369 878 - 07 40311073 - 07 40311434
to be done about bad book up, but
not all book up should be banned.         In you state you can call:

One idea is to set up new laws (called    NSW
a code) for stores and other traders      Office of fair Trading                           13 32 20
who do book up, to:
stop them from holding your PIN           SA
number by making it against the           Office of Consumer & Business Affairs            08 820 49777
  tell traders they can’t take all your   Consumer Affairs Office                          1300 551 181
  money to pay off book up;
  only let people who have your           Consumer & Employment Protection                1800 019 319
  permission use your book up;
  let you get your card back whenever     Office of Fair Trading                           02 620 70400
  you want it, even if you still owe
  money on book up; and                   WA
                                          Dept of Consumer and Employment
  Make the law say the trader has         Protection                                      1300 304 054
  to keep a list of everything you
  book up and make you sign each          Qld
  time you book up so if there is         Office of Fair Trading                           1300 658 030
  an argument everyone can look
  at that list to see what was really     Tas
  booked up.                              Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading               1300 654 499

We want to hear from you about
what we should do about book
up. If we do make a new law to            ‘The information set out in this article is a summary of
control traders who do book up,           some issues you should consider as consumers. It is not
what do you want that law to              comprehensive and it is not legal advice. You should contact
say?                                      a community legal centre or a solicitor for legal advice about
                                          your situation. You can also obtain further information from
To get your copy of the Book Up           the offices referred to in this publication’
Discussion Paper click HERE.

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