Electrical appliances can be tagged with a $300k fine if they are “unattended”, according to a warning issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has been monitoring the electric home appliance market for more than a year, and has identified some common issues with electric appliances.
It has flagged a potential spike in electric appliances being sold without proper safety features, and said it was recommending that electric appliance manufacturers update their product labels and install safety features.
A common problem is that consumers don’t know how to properly use electrical appliances, according to the ACCC.
Consumer advocacy group Consumer Action Coalition (CAC) said that while the ACCCC’s recommendations are encouraging, the warning about the potential for fines was misleading. “
Consumer safety must be a top priority in the electric appliance market, so it is critical that electrical appliance manufacturers take action to improve safety features.”
Consumer advocacy group Consumer Action Coalition (CAC) said that while the ACCCC’s recommendations are encouraging, the warning about the potential for fines was misleading.
“[The ACCC’s warning] is a clear warning that people are being put at risk by the high number of electric appliances on the market,” said CAC national manager for consumer advocacy, Paul Waddell.
Waddell said that there was no proof that the number of products on the Australian market were actually unsafe.
Electric appliances in Australia are sold to households using an appliance charging system.
CAC said it has received complaints about electric appliances that were not equipped with a proper charging system, and it is recommending that electrical manufacturers update product labels.
However, the CAC warned that consumers should contact their local electric utility and report any problems.
Consumer Action Coalition spokeswoman and chief executive officer Joanna O’Sullivan said the warning was misleading, as the ACCCE’s recommendations were not binding.
O’Sullivan warned that the warning could be interpreted as a recommendation that electrical appliances should be sold with the safety features required, and consumers would have to check their appliances against the list of safety features before buying them.
Under the rules of the ACC, electric appliances with the required safety features can be sold without a label.
While the ACC is recommending the mandatory installation of safety feature, it does not specify how much this will cost consumers, according the ACC’s guidance.
This would mean that if consumers found an electric appliance without the required features, they could end up paying more than $300 for it.
On average, consumers would need to spend about $900 to cover a $150,000 bill, according ACCC figures.
According to Consumer Action, about $300 would be required to cover the cost of installing safety features for all the electrical appliances sold in Australia.
That means the ACC cautions consumers to consider whether it would be cheaper to purchase an electric appliances without safety features if they were not sold with these safety features included, rather than spending money to install them.
Consumer Action recommends that electrical industry bodies, including the ACC and the ACCCA, implement a “one-size-fits-all” safety feature list, with all the necessary safety features that are required on every electric appliance sold in the Australian marketplace.
As well as this, it recommends that the ACC investigate any complaints of electric appliance safety that it receives.
ACCC advice also states that consumers must not purchase electrical appliances if they cannot afford to do so, as they could be subject to a fine or other penalty.