The Australian Consumer Law prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct and the making of false representations concerning the supply of goods and services. In addition to these laws, the voluntary Jewellery and Timepieces Industry Code of Practice has been adopted nationally by members of the Jewellers Association of Australia Limited with the purpose of setting down principles for fair trading for the jewellery and timepieces industry. The Code also aims to encourage ethical competition between retailers. The Code does not replace State and Federal law governing these issues.
Generally, a consumer has the right to expect that goods will be of acceptable quality, having regard to the price and description of the goods. 'Acceptable quality' means that the goods will be safe, durable and free from defects. A trader must not falsely state that goods are of a particular standard, quality, value or grade. Goods must be suitable for their intended purpose.
A trader must not make false or misleading statements about the value of the jewellery.
Consumers have the legal right to receive accurate information about any product they want to purchase. Jewellers promoting closing down sales, liquidation sales, clearance sales or fire sales must only use such terms if they are factual representations. Traders must be able to substantiate any discounts advertised are genuine.
The Jewellers Association of Australia Limited (JAA) represents and protects the interests of the jewellery industry and jewellery consumers, with membership representing over 2000 outlets, covering all areas of the jewellery industry from retailing to manufacturing. The Association produces consumer information regarding gold, diamonds, cultured pearls, coloured gemstones and opals. The website also contains information on choosing a jeweller, caring for jewellery and other information consumers should be aware of.
A copy of the JAA Code of Practice – Jewellery and Timepieces Industry Code can be obtained by contacting JAA.
Consumers should, in the first instance, seek resolution of their dispute by contacting the store manager. Should a store manager fail to satisfactorily resolve a complaint (and the jeweller is a member of the JAA), a complaint can be made to the Jewellers Association of Australia Limited who have a nationwide system of dealing with complaints.
Complaints can be lodged with JAA by writing to:
The Jewellers Association of Australia Limited (JAA)
Suite 33, Level 8, 99 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone: 1800 657 762 or (02) 9262 2862
In the event the matter is not resolved, or if the jeweller is not a member of JAA, consumers may also lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading.