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.