E-NEWS 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 law; Vic tell traders they can’t take all your Consumer Affairs Ofﬁce 1300 551 181 money to pay off book up; NT only let people who have your Consumer & Employment Protection 1800 019 319 permission use your book up; ACT 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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