26 April 2019

Canberra’s NDIS consumers urged to know their rights

| Glynis Quinlan
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Canberra’s NDIS consumers are being urged to know their rights and make sure they are receiving fair support.

Canberrans accessing services through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are being urged to make sure they know their consumer rights and are receiving fair support.

Among other things, the ACT Government is encouraging them to compare offers and choose what is best for them, to make sure they don’t give their details to anyone they don’t trust, and to be aware that sometimes businesses make claims that are not true.

ACT businesses are also under the spotlight, with the Government reminding them about their responsibilities under Australian Consumer Law when it comes to the selling of products and services to consumers with disability.

ACT Consumer Affairs Minister Shane Rattenbury said that a new independent Commonwealth body, the Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission), will be available to respond to complaints from Canberran participants of the NDIS from 1 July 2019.

“It is important that all consumers, including those who may have a disability and are accessing services and products through the NDIS, understand what it is they may be purchasing and do not feel pressured in their decision,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Consumers with disability – just as all consumers – don’t have to agree to anything if they are unsure. It’s okay to say no and it’s also okay to speak up or report an issue if something goes wrong.

“There are protections in place to ensure the services you are receiving are what you agreed, and that products and goods are of a high standard.

“Businesses must also treat consumers fairly and take particular care when dealing with consumers that may be disadvantaged or vulnerable.”

Mr Rattenbury said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has a wealth of information available to support consumers.

“This includes videos, checklists and advice on where consumers can go for more information,” he said.

“From July our community can contact the Fair Trading Team in Access Canberra who can provide advice to any consumer who may have concerns on 13 22 81.

“NDIS participants can also contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission from July by phoning 1800 035 544 or visiting the Complaint page on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website.

“Currently if NDIS participants are unhappy with services they can contact the Human Services Registrar by emailing quality@act.gov.au or phoning 6207 5474.”

Mr Rattenbury said some general advice for consumers seeking to procure services or purchase products through the NDIS includes:

  • think carefully about the kind of product or service you should buy
  • compare offers and choose what is right for you
  • be aware that sometimes businesses make claims that are not true
  • find out as much as you can about the business selling you something
  • don’t give your details to anyone you don’t know or trust
  • you have the rights if you don’t get what you paid for
  • make sure you keep all the paperwork in a safe place where you can find it again.

Have you had any problems with services accessed through the NDIS? Let us know in the comments below.

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Capital Retro9:44 am 27 Apr 19

Should they be called consumers? I think “beneficiaries” would be more appropriate as the service is totally taxpayer funded.

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