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 Industry Code of Conduct 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 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 as genuine.
Consumers should, in the first instance, seek resolution of their dispute by contacting the store manager preferably in writing. Consumers should include information such as what they believe to be the problem, what they feel is satisfactory to resolve the issue and outline a timeframe of 5 to 10 working days to receive a written response from the trader.
Should a store fail to satisfactorily resolve a complaint, a consumer may lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading.
The Jewellers Association of Australia Limited (JAA) has a nationwide system of dealing with complaints about about their members relating to technical issues (such as a stone falling out of a ring). Consumers should check the membership directory on the JAA website and read the information below to detemine if JAA can assist with resolving their complaint.
The Jewellers Association of Australia Limited (JAA) represents and protects the interests of the jewellery industry and consumers, with membership representing over 2000 outlets, covering all areas of the jewellery industry from retailing to manufacturing.
JAA consumer information is available from www.jaa.com.au and includes caring for jewellery, choosing a jeweller, gold, diamonds, cultured pearls and coloured gemstones. Consumers can also search the JAA membership directory to find out if a jeweller is a member of the association.
JAA has a nationwide system of dealing with technical complaints about their member jewellers. Further details about the complaints system can be found in the JAA Jewellery Industry Code of Conduct available from the JAA website or by contacting JAA.
Consumers with complaints relating to a technical issue (such as a stone falling out of a ring or a bracelet breaking) who have confirmed that the jeweller is a member of JAA by checking the membership directory on the JAA website, can lodge a written complaint with JAA.
Customers should refer to the JAA website to determine if their complaint relates to technical issues before lodging a complaint.
Complaints can be lodged by writing to:
The Jewellers Association of Australia Limited (JAA)
Suite 33, Level 8, 99 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Or via the JAA online complaint form.
Consumers may lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading if: