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Insider Tips

How can we be of service? Let us count the ways. We actually mean service – unlike those who have promised it before and didn’t show up when it counted most. Consider these insider tips your key to consumer affairs.

Three top tips for safer shopping and home improvement

2020 has taught us that being safety conscious allows us to enjoy the finer things in life, like cafes, family reunions, weddings and (hopefully) travel. Home improvement projects have been extremely popular as we’ve spent more time at home than ever before. When it comes to shopping, all types of shopping, safety matters too. Each year Australia has about 650 consumer product recalls. But only about half of the affected products are returned to sellers. This amounts to about 1.7 million recalled products remaining in people's homes!

Australia has one of the best product recall system in the world. However, the number of unreturned recalls shows that there are a lot of products out there that could potentially cause harm.

As we head into the holiday season, we want to share our top three tips for keeping your loved ones protected from the dangers of recalled products.

1. Australia’s Product Safety Pledge is making shopping safer

Four of the largest e-commerce businesses AliExpress, Amazon Australia, Catch.com.au and eBay Australia have been the first to sign a voluntary pledge to better protect Australian customers from unsafe products.

These businesses have committed to remove product listings for any products the government tells them is unsafe within two days. The pledge also means these businesses will receive and process information about unsafe product listing directly from consumers.

A check was done a few years ago and it found that over two out of three of banned or recalled products were still on-sale online. A similar initiative in the European Union has been successful in removing dangerous products from sale by e-commerce businesses.

As they say, prevention is better than a cure so this pledge will really help to limit the amount of unsafe products that are out there for us to purchase and keep our homes safer.

2. Final days for the Takata airbag recall

The Takata airbag recall is approaching the 31 December 2020 deadline. Replacement airbags are free-of-charge before the end of the year.

This recall has been going on for a few years now. Car companies say some owners have been contacted up to 10 times, including face-to-face door knocks. In other instances, car companies have chartered planes to send technicians to remote areas and small islands off the coast of Australia.

Even with all that effort, there are still 65,000 vehicles in Australia that need their airbags replaced. 6,000 vehicles are classified ‘critical’ replacements which means these vehicles should not be driven at all. They should be towed or have a technician visit to have the airbag replaced. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane’s outer suburbs have the most airbags still outstanding.

Governments are now considering cancelling the registration of vehicles if they haven’t had affected airbags replaced. That shows how important it is to get these airbags replaced. Now is the time to get onto this if you haven’t already.

It is so easy to check if any car still needs to have their airbags replaced. You just need to have the licence plate details and know the state the vehicle is registered in and enter those details into the website ismyairbagsafe.com.au. So please check your own car and that of your loved ones to make sure everyone is driving safe these holidays.

3. Speak up to make a difference

It’s really important to report a product to the government if you feel it’s unsafe.

One example of people power includes the LOL dolls. LOL dolls have been sold for quite some time through major outlets Target, Kmart, Big W and Woolworths.

Earlier this year, parents took to the internet to call for one range of LOL dolls to be removed from sale. When these dolls were dunked in cold water, the toys would reveal provocative clothing. Parents were concerned about the over-sexualisation represented by these dolls.

You too can make a difference. Report an unsafe item to productsafety.gov.au

So, don’t forget to set your alarm about the Takata airbag recall free replacement for THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31ST 5:00PM.

And just remember, in case you stumble on a glitch or two, we’re here to help you resolve the issue, dodgy product or otherwise.

You can tell us what’s gone wrong and what it’ll take for you to become a satisfied customer. Just say the magic words 'Help Me Handle It'.

 
   -----  Watch our CEO, Jo Ucukalo's, segment on Channel 7's - The Morning Show below. She shared important information about product recalls in Australia including the Product Safety Pledge.