Avoid using unfair business tactics

It is illegal to to force a consumer into an unreasonable contract by using:

  • false or misleading statements
  • undue pressure
  • undue influence
  • unfair tactics.

This is unconscionable conduct. A business must not take advantage of its bargaining strength over a consumer.

When you supply goods and services to a vulnerable person, you must:

  • not take advantage of their vulnerability
  • always act in good conscience.

Vulnerable people might be:

  • consumers who do not speak English or have English as a second language
  • consumers with learning, emotional or behavioural disabilities
  • low-income earners (such as if you make false statements about the full cost of a loan).

Suppliers should comply with the requirements of any applicable industry code, particularly when customers reasonably believe the supplier will comply with that code.

Some other examples of unconscionable conduct include:

  • not giving a customer enough time to
    • read or understand an agreement
    • ask questions
    • get advice
  • using a friend or relative to influence the customer’s decision
  • pressuring the customer into signing a blank or one-sided contract
  • not disclosing or explaining the key terms of a contract
  • using high-pressure tactics, such as not taking ‘no’ for an answer
  • offering incentives for people to sign that are not listed on the contract.