People with disability
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), people
with disability can now choose their own products and services to
support their needs. If you have a problem with any product or
service you buy you can use your rights under the Australian
Consumer Law to sort it out.
What are your consumer
Whenever you buy goods and services - whether they're related to
your disability or not - you have the right to:
- Ask for what you want (ask as many questions as you like)
- Ask for a better price
- Take your time before you make a decision
- Be treated fairly
- Get all the important, correct information about the item.
Your consumer rights apply whether you are buying products from
a shop, a website, over the telephone, or from a door-to-door
How to buy the right product for
If you are asked if you want to pay extra for an extended
warranty, make sure you understand what the warranty covers before
you buy it. It might not give you any more protection than you
already get for free under the Australian Consumer Law.
Do some research before you buy to make
sure the product or service meets your needs. This is especially
important if it is something you will use for a long time, or is
worth a lot of money.
Here are some tips for being a smart shopper:
- Check the features - Make sure the product has
any special features you need. For example, if you're buying a
mobile phone check it has features like larger buttons or a touch
screen, accessible software, like voiceover or TTY compatibility if
you need these. Find out more about mobile phones.
- Shop around - Compare the price and features
of different products or services to make sure you get one that's
right for you. Get quotes from a different suppliers to compare
their deals. If you are buying complex equipment, like a motorised
wheelchair, remember to factor in the costs of customisation and
ongoing maintenance, as well as the sales price. When you have
decided on the one you want take the quote back to the supplier to
be sure you get the same deal.
- You can say 'no' - Salespeople can be very
persuasive, but you have the right to say 'no' if you don't want to
buy something or if you 're just not sure. If you feel pressured to
make a quick decision, tell the salesperson you want to take some
time to think about it before you decide.
- Ask questions - If something doesn't make
sense to you, or if the salesperson makes a claim that doesn't
sound right, or is too good to be true, ask for more details. If
you're still not sure, read some independent reviews of the product
or company, or ask your friends, family or support networks for
- Protect your privacy - Never give your
personal information to anyone unless you know why they want it and
how they will use it. If you're buying from a company online, check
their website's privacy page. If you can't find their privacy
policy, don't buy from the website.
Getting help buying products with NDIS funding
An NDIS representative can help you through the process of
buying products and services with your NDIS funding. If you have
any questions, visit the NDIS website or call 1800 800 110 for more
If you are not already an NDIS participant, visit the NDIS
website find out if you meet the access requirements.
When you sign a contract with a business, they agree to do
certain things for you, and you agree to do things for them, like
make payments at a particular time.
A contract is a legal document, and there could be serious
consequences if you don't meet your obligations. Be sure to read
the contract carefully before you sign it so you understand what
you are agreeing to.
Pay special attention to what the contract says about:
- What the business will do for you
- What your responsibilities are
- When the contract starts and when it will end
- How and when you need to make payments
- Whether you can end the contract early if your circumstances
change, and if you will be charged for this.
Get help from someone you trust if something in the contract is
not clear. You can also get legal advice if you need it.
How to complain if
something goes wrong
Under the Australian Consumer Law, the things you buy come with
automatic consumer guarantees. For example, businesses guarantee
that the products they sell are safe, have no faults, and do what
they are expected to do. They also guarantee that services will be
provided with acceptable care, skill and technical knowledge within
a reasonable time. Visit the ACCC's website for more information
about consumer guarantees.
If something goes wrong with a product or service you have paid
for, you have the right to ask for the problem to be fixed. For
tips on how to complain about different issues, visit our webpage
on how to
If you need help following up on a complaint you have already
made, contact your disability or
health services complaint body, or your local consumer protection
A key part of being a smart shopper is knowing
your consumer rights. Make sure you get the products and services
you're entitled to, and make sure you complain to the supplier if
something goes wrong or you are not happy with the product.
Last updated: 18 Oct 2016