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Greetings to you all!

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Welcome to the November 2016 edition of our Think Smart quarterly newsletter

This issue highlights the development of the Think Smart Multicultural Education Strategy 2016-2019 which was launched at the Think Smart Multicultural Media Conference held in October at Parramatta.

NSW Fair Trading has also produced new educational resources in community languages that would be useful for you, your clients, community groups and networks. Read more about it below.

Other relevant information that may be of interest are the following: Gift card survey, WeChat, changes and cancellation to music festivals, bag check while shopping, new budgeting tools from ASIC, community events and other information about the Think Smart program.

Reminder: Don't forget! the new Strata laws will commence on 30 November. An education campaign about the new laws targeting vulnerable audiences such as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities will be coming your way shortly.  

We hope you find the information in this edition useful.

Please help us spread the information by forwarding this newsletter to your networks. For more information visit our website at  www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

 

NSW Fair Trading Think Smart Multicultural Education Strategy 2016-2019 

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The Minister for Innovation and Regulation and Minister responsible for Fair Trading Minister Victor Dominello, recently launched the Fair Trading Think Smart Multicultural Education Strategy 2016-2019 at the Think Smart Multicultural Media Conference held in Parramatta on 25 October.

The strategy was developed in response to the issues raised at a consultation held late last year with Think Smart partners, community workers and community organisations delivering migrant-based services.

The Strategy outlines tailored Fair Trading services to meet the needs of people from CALD communities over the next 3 years.

You can download a copy from our website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

For more information about the Strategy or to order printed copies please contact Neneth Costa, Communications Advisor - CALD on 9619 8705 or email neneth.costa@finance.nsw.gov.au

 

Fair Trading has 16 of your languages covered!

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To help consumers and traders from CALD backgrounds undestand Fair Trading's role and services, we have translated the Fair Trading - what we can do for you brochure into 16 community languages. 

The brochure is now available in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dari, Dinka, Farsi/Persian, Indonesian, Karen, Korean, Nepali, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.

You can download a copy of the brochure from our website at  www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

 

Fair Trading information is now on WeChat

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Have you heard of WeChat?
WeChat is one of the largest and most popular mobile text and voice messaging application communication services in China. 

Fair Trading is working in collaboration with the Australia Nanhai Culture Media Group to develop educational videos to help Mandarin-speaking communities in NSW better understand their consumer rights and responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law. 

The Australia Nanhai Culture Media Group indicated that Fair Trading’s functions will be extremely beneficial to their 250,000 WeChat subscribers and to the Chinese community living in NSW and Australia-wide. 

The video contains topical Fair Trading information delivered by Xiaojing, a Fair Trading Mandarin-speaking staff member and a presenter. The first video is now available through WeChat channel and on YouTube. Watch the first video.

The Australia Nanhai Culture Media Group is one of our newest Think Smart media partners. 

Please help us promote this video to your Chinese community groups, clients, Mandarin-speaking staff and other relevant networks.

 

Thinking of buying a used car? Check out our new community language resources 

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Many people especially CALD communities including new migrants, can face problems when undertaking a major purchase such as a car, because of a lack of understanding of their consumer rights.  

They may worry they have bought a ‘lemon’ (a second-hand car with defects). 

Often, when things go wrong they may not know where to seek help or may be reluctant to lodge a complaint. Take advantage of the following extensive information available from Fair Trading before buying a used car.

Buying a used car videos - This series of videos is designed to help consumers from CALD communities understand what to look for when buying a second hand car. The video also aims to encourage CALD consumers to personally view and inspect the car before buying it, instead of relying on photographs.

Think_Smart_buying_a_used_car_brochure.JPGSeven topics are covered in the Buying a used car video:

  1. What to look for
  2. Important things to know
  3. Inspect exterior and interior
  4. Check service history
  5. Check safety features
  6. Check engine
  7. Test drive.

Each of the above topics is available in Engish and in the following languages: Arabic, Farsi, Korean, Mandarin, Tamil and Vietnamese.

Buying a used car brochure - This brochure has detailed information, including advice on the different rights and responsibilities consumers may have when buying a car privately, buying from a licensed dealer, buying at auction or buying from a friend.

It is available in English and in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dinka, Farsi, Tamil and Vietnamese.

My_next_car_main_nav_screen.jpgMy next car app - This is a free application for smart phones and tablets that allows you to store details and photos of the cars you are interested in. You can do the following:

  • use our interactive inspection checklist to identify, record and take photos of any problems
  • compare cars side-by-side
  • calculate loan repayments.

This app is a ‘must have’ tool for anyone considering buying a used car. Get help with choosing your next car to reduce the chance of buying a lemon! Download the free app today! Available on iPhone (requires iOS 5.0 or later) and Android.

Car buyers guide - This guide will assist consumers through the entire car buying and owning experience. You can download the Car buyers guide from our website.

All the above resources can be downloaded at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au You can also view the Buying a used car videos on our YouTube channel.

 

Have you lost money on a gift card?

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If your answer is 'yes' you are like 81% of people who completed our survey to date. We want to hear about all your gift card experiences.

We are calling on consumers to search out and redeem gift cards in their possession, current or expired as some retailers will accept expired gift cards - but please check before you shop.

Visit our website and complete a short survey online by 28 November. If you would like to make a complaint to Fair Trading, go to Lodge a Complaint on our website.

What is a gift card?
A gift card or gift voucher is a card/certificate loaded with an amount of cash. It enables you (or the person you give it to) to buy goods and services. Gift cards vary with some gift cards able to be used at select retailers, while others can be used anywhere in a shopping centre.

 

Music festivals

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A big part of our wonderful summer is the music festival season, but what happens if a festival is cancelled or even dramatically changed at the last moment?

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) gives consumers rights if a business fails to deliver what they said they would.  Find out about your rights at the ACL website.

Here are some tips to avoid losing your money on the ticket if the event does not go ahead or major changes occur:

  • Check the terms and conditions of the ticket
  • If you want a refund contact the place you purchased the ticket first
  • If you paid on credit card and you don’t get a refund from the place of purchase, contact your bank about a possible chargeback
  • Always keep receipts and any information you have been sent in case you have a dispute later
  • Make sure you deal with a reputable ticket seller with secure online ticket sales systems
  • Check your refund rights on the ACL website.

Refunds

Fair Trading can assist when there is a problem about refunds on festival tickets. Contact us on 13 32 20 or lodge a complaint online.

 

Ladder safety matters

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In one year 1668 people across Australia aged 65 years and over were hospitalised because they fell from a ladder. Sixty-two per cent of those injuries occurred in or around their home. 

Ladder-related injuries among men aged 65 years and older is steadily increasing in Australia.

The national education campaign ‘Ladder safety matters’ encourages older men to stop and think before they use a ladder. It is often a split-second decision or risky shortcut that results in a fall.

By following some simple ladder safety tips the risk of injury can be reduced:

  • choose the right ladder for the job
  • don’t work in wet or windy conditions
  • take time to set up your ladder
  • work safely up the ladder
  • have another person hold the ladder
  • know your limits and work to your ability.

Find out more and watch some short films about Mick, John and Paul who tell their stories about how they fell from a ladder, the recovery process, and how the fall has changed their lives. View the ladder safety matters videos.     

 

Insurance fee (levy) reform: Monitor to protect policyholders

If you have insurance for your property, contents or car in NSW then you are probably paying a fee or levy in your insurance premium. The insurance levy helps fund the emergency and fire services in NSW.  This funding arrangement to emergency and fire services will be replaced by property-based levy on 1 July 2017.

The property levy, to be charged alongside council rates will fund the emergency services in 2017-2018 financial year. 

When you renew or take out insurance make sure you:

  • check your policy for details,
  • contact your insurance company for clarification
  • contact the Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor if you are not satisfied with the response
The Emergency Services Levy Insurance (ESLIM) is an independent agency who oversees the insurance levy removal and protects policyholders.

For more information about the insurance levy reform visit ESLIM website at www.eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au  or call the hotline on 1300 607 723.
 

New budgeting tools from ASIC's MoneySmart that speak your language

The best way to get on top of your finances and start taking control is to do a budget. ASIC's MoneySmart has created the Simple Money Manager to help you. 

To use the tool you simply enter your bills, expenses, income and the Simple Money Manager will work out if you have money to spare or you are spending more than you earn.

The Simple Money Manager is available in English, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dari, Italian, Somali, Sudanese (Arabic) and Vietnamese.  It is also available in an audio format which clearly explains each budget category. 

The Simple Money Manager is available on ASIC's MoneySmart website  which has other great tools and information to help you manage your money.

For the latest money tips you can also follow ASIC's MoneySmart team on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to ASIC's monthly enewsletter. 

 

Multicultural community and media events 

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Above: Attendees at NSW Fair Trading's Think Smart Multicultural Media Conference held on 25 October 2016 at Parramatta. The event was attended by over 60 people representing multicultural media, community organisations, service providers and community representatives. 

Spanish communities learn about their consumer rights

Spanish_info_session.jpgA group from the NSW Spanish and Latin American Association for Social Assistance (NSW SLASA) at Bonnyrigg were eager to learn about Fair Trading and its services. In response, Fair Trading representatives delivered a talk on 15 November. 

The Spanish-speaking seniors who attended the event were keen to learn their consumer rights and responsibilties. They shared their stories and experiences about purchasing goods and services and participated in a group discussion.

The attendees reported finding the session informative and asked Fair Trading come back again next year to deliver more information on issues such as scams and renting.

NSW SLASA is one of our newest Think Smart community partners.

Deepavali Festival

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Above: Fair Trading had an information stall at the Deepavali Festival held on 23 October at Parramatta Park. This annual event was attended by thousands of people from diverse backgrounds, particularly Indian communities and community members from South Asian countries.

Information available at community events such as this provides direct access and face-to-face engagement by Fair Trading staff. It also encourages community members to seek information from Fair Trading staff on the spot.

Below: Visitors at Fair Trading's information stall. 

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Ask a Fair Trading expert to speak at your next event

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Fair Trading works with community groups to deliver FREE tailored information sessions to consumers.

Why not ask a Fair Trading speaker to attend your next event? We can adapt one or more topics to suit your audience.

Topics include:

  • Know your shopping rights
  • Be scam aware
  • Buying safe products
  • Buying a car
  • Hiring a tradie
  • Renting a home.

Fair Trading's community engagement team will work with you to develop an interactive session tailored to your group's size and needs. Our information will cater for your specific audience (eg. young people, CALD, seniors, Aboriginal communities, or people with a disability).

Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive tools and tips to better protect themselves in today’s market.

To find out more and to request a free speaker, email FairTradingSeminars@finance.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20 and speak to your local Community Liaison Coordinator. We can attend locations throughout NSW.

Last year more than 50,000 consumers and traders attended over 2,000 of our seminars and talks.

 

Resources in other languages 

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Fair Trading provides a range of FREE information in other languages to help educate consumers. Visit our website and select 'Languages' to access web pages and publications in over 30 languages. You can also access video and audio resources in community languages on specific topics relating to consumers and traders.
 

Think Smart community partners

Think Smart community partners

Think Smart program

Fair Trading runs a community education initiative through partnerships with community organisations and multicultural media to increase awareness and understanding of consumer rights issues by community members from CALD communities...... Read more about the Think Smart program 
 
fairtrading.nsw.gov.au