Buying goods and services

Lay-by agreements

A lay-by agreement lets you buy a product and pay for it in two or more instalments before taking it home. You must be given a copy of your lay-by agreement that states all terms and conditions, including any termination fees that may apply.

Cancellation of lay-by agreements

You can cancel a lay-by agreement at any time before you receive the goods. If you do so, the business must refund your deposit and all other amounts you've paid except for the termination fee. Where your payments don't cover the termination fee, you will have to pay the difference.

A business can only cancel a lay-by agreement if:

  • you have breached a term of the agreement (such as missing a scheduled payment)
  • they are no longer trading
  • the goods are no longer available due to circumstances outside the trader's control.

Tips for using lay-bys

When making a purchase:

  • make sure you read and agree with the terms and conditions before signing the agreement and paying your deposit - this includes payment dates, amounts and any extra charges you'll have to pay if you decide to cancel
  • keep copies of the agreement and receipts for the deposit and all instalments in case there is a problem later
  • if you have a problem with a lay-by agreement, try to resolve it by discussing it with the business first - refer to your written agreement and receipts for evidence if necessary.

Further assistance

If you feel your rights have been infringed through a lay-by agreement and you have not been able to resolve the issue with the business, phone Consumer and Business Services on 131 882 for advice.

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Page last updated 29 November 2016

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Attorney-General's Department
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