Ride, accommodation and task sharing
The sharing economy is an online marketplace where operators connect consumers with people who have goods or services to sell, rent or lease - eg AirBnB, UBER, Airtasker. Operators provide the administration tasks, such as processing payments and posting reviews.
Businesses that simply help to connect buyers and sellers - eg Gumtree, eBay - are not part of the sharing economy.
You generally have the same rights when you buy through sharing economies as when you buy in a store.
You have the right to:
- trust that any images, statements or claims about the goods or services are true
- receive all the information you need to use the product or service
- be told about any commercial relationships
- receive goods are of acceptable quality, safe, fit for purpose and match the description
- receive services within a reasonable time and with due care and skill.
When consumer rights don't apply
Your consumer rights don't always apply if it's a one-off or infrequent transaction - the seller may not legally be considered as 'trade' or 'commerce'.
Consumer guarantees do not apply if you:
- simply changed your mind, found it cheaper somewhere else, or decided you did not like or need it
- caused a problem because you didn’t use the product correctly
- knew of or were made aware of the faults before you bought it
- asked for a service to be done in a way that the business didn’t recommend or you were unclear about what you wanted.
Resolving a dispute
Your rights are the same if you buy online. You are protected if things go wrong. You are entitled to a remedy - such as a refund, repair or exchange - if what you bought is faulty or didn’t do what it was supposed to.
Read the operator's terms and conditions and understand how they manage complaints before you contact them about a problem.
Contact Consumer and Business Services for advice if the trader and platform aren't able to fix the problem.
Advertisements, statements or promotional images must be accurate. The seller is breaking the law if they make statements about a product or service that isn’t correct or is likely to mislead you, even if that wasn't their intention.
Many operators allow consumers and sellers to review each other. When you review a seller, you must be accurate and the review needs to reflect your actual experience.
Sellers must not give fake, misleading or inaccurate reviews.
Don't make payment to a trader outside of the platform. If you think something is a scam report it to Scamwatch.