https://www.gotocourt.com.au/civil-law/nt/consumer-claims/

National Legal Hotline

1300 636 846

7am to midnight, 7 days

Call our lawyers now or,
have our lawyers call you

Consumer Claims in Northern Territory

Updated on Nov 03, 2023 4 min read 174 views Copy Link

Michelle Makela

Published in May 29, 2015 Updated on Nov 03, 2023 4 min read 174 views

Consumer Claims in Northern Territory

In the NT, disputes between traders and consumers can be dealt with by Consumer Affairs or through the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT). This page deals with consumer claims in the NT.

Kinds of consumer claims

Under the Australian Consumer Law, traders are subject to a number of restrictions which are designed to protect consumers from being unfairly treated.  For example, traders must not engage in certain unfair practices such as:

  • making false or misleading representations to a consumer
  • harassing or coercing a consumer
  • acting unconscionably towards a consumer, or
  • acting in a misleading or deceptive manner. 

Some of these activities are offences. 

The Australian Consumer Law also gives consumers certain guarantees. For example, there is a guarantee that the goods will be of an acceptable quality and fit for the purpose for which they were advertised. 

A consumer is also entitled to certain rights in relation to being granted a refund or replacement when a product is faulty. 

Disputes in relation to motor vehicles are also common – for example, if a car is put in for a service and the owner gets hit with a hefty bill for repairs that they did not agree to, the repairer may have made an ‘unsolicited supply’.

Consumer Affairs

NT Consumer Affairs was established under the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Act 1990, which aims to promote responsible business conduct and to protect consumers’ interests. Its main functions are dealing with the purchase of goods and services, residential tenancies and residential building disputes. When disputes arise between traders and consumers, Consumer Affairs can assist by providing advice on how to resolve the dispute or by providing an alternative dispute resolution process.

A party may apply for conciliation through Consumer Affairs by completing a Consumer Conciliation Request after they have made every effort to resolve the dispute directly with the trader. When requesting conciliation from Consumer Affairs, a person must provide the following information:

  • Proof of purchase
  • Copies of any correspondence with the trader
  • Photos of the issues (if applicable)
  • If the purchase was made online, a copy of the page where the goods are listed
  • If the goods were purchased from a catalogue, a copy of the page where they were listed
  • If a written contact was involved, a copy of the terms and conditions

If conciliation is not successful at resolving the dispute, an application can be made to NTCAT or to the Local Court depending on the amount of money in dispute.

NTCAT

Consumer complaints for disputes involving less than $25,000 are heard by the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. When a complaint is lodged with NTCAT, parties must attend a conference, which is usually conducted by a tribunal member. The conference aims to resolve the dispute if possible and make orders giving effect to any settlement that is reached.

If a matter does not settle at conference, it will proceed to a direction hearing and then to a final hearing. At the hearing, each party will have the opportunity to present its case and make submissions.  

The tribunal will make a decision within 28 days of the hearing.

A decision of NTCAT can be appealed internally or to the Supreme Court.

Local Court

If a consumer claim involves more than $25,000 but less than $250,000, a claim can be brought in the Local Court under its normal jurisdiction and rules. The court may require parties to attend a mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If the matter cannot be resolved at mediation, it will proceed to a hearing.

A consumer claim for more than $250,000 must be made in the Supreme Court.

Other tribunals

Some kinds of consumer claims in the NT are dealt with by specialist Commonwealth or NT tribunals. For example, complaints relating to food labelling can be made to the Department of Health and Families and disputes relating to product safety and scams can be made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Complaints about tourism services can be made to the NT Tourism Commissioner.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.

 

Published in

May 29, 2015

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 
Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 

Topics
Topics
People helped badge

Affordable Lawyers

Our Go To Court Lawyers will assist you in all areas of law. We specialise in providing legal advice urgently – at the time when you need it most. If you need a lawyer right now, today, we can help you – no matter where you are in Australia.

How It Works

You speak directly to a lawyer
Arrow
Get your legal situation assessed
Arrow
We arrange everything as needed
You speak directly to a lawyer

1. You speak directly to a lawyer

When you call the Go To Court Legal Hotline, you will be connected directly to a lawyer, every time.

Get your legal situation assessed

2. Get your legal situation assessed

We determine the best way forward in your legal matter, free of charge. If you want to go ahead and book a face-to-face appointment, we will connect you with a specialist in your local area.

We arrange everything as needed

3. We arrange everything as needed

If you want to go ahead and book a fact-to-face appointment, we will connect you with a specialist in your local area no matter where you are and even at very short notice.

7am to midnight, 7 days

Call our lawyers now or, have our lawyers call you

1300 636 846
7am to midnight, 7 days
Call our Legal Hotline now