When you walk into a shop, do you assume the products on display are safe? According to CHOICE’s 2018 Consumer Pulse survey 1, 79% of Australians surveyed believe businesses are currently legally required to ensure the products they sell are safe. Unfortunately, Australians simply aren’t afforded these protections, despite the fact almost all of those surveyed (97%) 2 think it’s important we are.
But despite having certification to say they pass legal requirements, our own testing of these products finds
a large number consistently fail to meet the mandatory standard, the voluntary standard or both:
Children and baby products have consistently failed safety standards conducted by consumer lobby group
CHOICE, prompting a campaign by the watchdog.
CHOICE writes ‘We’ve noticed our governments tend to wait until one of these products causes serious
injury or death before making the new standard mandatory, even when the newer standard may contain
crucial safety provisions. This reactive approach is also inherent in general product safety laws, which allow
businesses to react to product safety problems after they happen, rather than actively trying to prevent
them from occurring.
Ultimately the result for both regulated and non-regulated products is that consumers have to wait until after
tragedy strikes for government to take action and for businesses to take responsibility. Source*
Furniture Complaints totally supports CHOICE’s position when it comes to consumer safety. The risk of non-compliant, dangerous products being sold to unsuspecting consumers is higher when the products are not tested or labelled appropriately. We want to emphasise the top tips for buying to protect Australian consumers and families, particularly when it comes to baby products.
- Only buy from reputable and knowledgeable suppliers and retailers;
- Look for the Australasian Furnishing Association Member (AFA) mark;
- Check that furniture meets Australian Standards NOT international standards;
- Look for furniture that comes with safety information and meets the Australian Consumer Law in
relation to Warranties;
- Look for the AFA Member approved Warning Labels as specified in AS/NZS Standards;
- Purchase original designs rather than rip-offs as this is a recipe for danger;
- Check out the list of Cots that failed in the year tested HERE
Do you know your rights? HERE