Unfair business and sales practices

Misleading or deceptive conduct

Consumers have the right to expect that a business will not mislead or deceive them about goods and services. 

Businesses can break the law even if they didn’t mean to mislead or deceive.

Misleading or deceptive claims

A business can't make false or misleading representation about any of the following:

  • price, value, standard, age, place of origin, quality or grade of goods
  • composition style, model or history of goods
  • testimonials from people buying or using them
  • availability of spare parts
  • sponsorship, approval, performance, accessories or benefits of use
  • the need for them
  • any guarantee or warranty, or conditions on them.

It is also illegal to offer rebates, gifts or prizes without providing them or not providing them as offered.

Misleading or deceptive conduct

Misleading or deceptive conduct includes any of the following:

  • puffery - wildly exaggerated, fanciful or vague claims that no reasonable person could possibly treat seriously or find misleading
  • silence - failing to disclose relevant facts
  • bait advertising - enticing prospective customers into stores when there are reasonable grounds for believing that the goods will not be in the store or are unlikely to be available for a reasonable time at the advertised price
  • disclaimers and fine print - you cannot rely on the fine print to tell important facts to customers about a good or service, however, disclaimers are not illegal if prominently displayed and they don’t undermine the offer being made
  • predictions and opinions - these can be misleading or deceptive if you know they are false, don't care if they are true or not, or have no reasonable grounds for making them.

Go to the NT Consumer Affairs website for more information.

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Last updated: 11 June 2015

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