PC fair trading inquiry releases report

The NSW minister for Fair Trading, Jeff Shaw, has released a series of recommendations for the cleaning up of the PC retail industry, calling on an industry code of conduct and education campaigns for buyers.

The recommendations follow an inquiry, which began in May, into the PC retail industry by the NSW Fair Trading Advisory Council (FTAC). The Inquiry into the Retail Supply of Personal Computers, Peripheral Devices and Software, was prompted by a 246 per cent increase in complaints about the industry over 1997/98.

The recommendations include:

The establishment of a national working party to consider to develop a code of conduct covering issues such as methods of payment and misleading advertisingCloser cooperation between the regulatory bodies Education campaigns for consumers -- advising buyers, for example, to not pay deposits of more than 10 per centAn expansion of the Fair Trading Act to include a "put-up-or-shut-up" power -- "forcing a trader to prove they can deliver on advertised offers", a statement from Shaw says.

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