RIP-OFF REFUNDS: $450k returned after dodgy deals

MORE than $450,000 in refunds, repairs, replacements and other compensation was given to Fraser Coast customers last year.

The figures, released by the Office of Fair Trading, showed that 586 complaints had been made against businesses across the region from dis-satisfied customers who felt they had been ripped off.

The number one complaint made by consumers in the region was about personal and household goods, followed by motor vehicle sales and motor vehicle services, including parts and repairs.

Personal and household services and issues with real estate agents rounded out the list of top five complaints in the region.

Across the five categories, the items and services most often complained about include mobile phone repairs and faults, household electrical items, defects in second-hand vehicles, delays in the return of vehicles and unauthorised repairs.

Complaints against real estates often involved disputes over whether an agent was contracted to provide and charge for the sale of a property or the managing of a rental property.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said under Australian Consumer Law, consumer goods must be of acceptable quality, match the description provided by the seller and be fit for the intended purpose.

"Services, such as car repairs, must be provided with due care and skill and completed within a reasonable or agreed timeframe," he said.

"The first thing people should do if they have a problem is talk to the trader directly.

"I know a lot of local business owners, so I can say 99 per cent of them will go out of their way to do the right thing by a customer.

"As a former business owner, I know customer satisfaction is very important to businesses, and most will be happy to work with you to resolve your complaint."