Perhaps you’ve heard of the expression, 'a quiet achiever'? It is used about people or organisations who do a lot of work without always making a lot of noise about it.
In some ways NSW Fair Trading is a quiet achiever. You probably don’t realise how much of what we do affects your life. Let’s take a look at a typical day in a household that could be a lot like yours.
David and Linda live in a house that was constructed by builders and specialist tradespeople whom we licensed. The land their house sits on was sold through a real estate agent also licensed by us. Even the conveyancer they used when they bought the house had to have a licence, which we authorised.
David and Linda used to rent, before they bought their house. The bond they lodged when they first signed their lease was held for them by Fair Trading. Then, when they found the house they wanted to buy, their bank sent a valuer to assess the property. The valuer was registered with us.
When Linda and David had a cup of coffee this morning, they boiled the water in a kettle whose electrical safety standards were approved by us. We even checked the jar of instant coffee they used to make sure it held the full amount of coffee it was supposed to.
David and Linda’s two young children have toys that meet Australian Standards for safety. We made sure that the toys were safe. We did the same for their nightwear, their baby walkers, and their inflatable swimming pool. When the kids are a little older we’ll look after the safety standards of their bicycles and other items as well.
David stopped at the petrol station on his way to work. He was able to compare the petrol prices at this station because we ensure that all petrol stations have prominent price boards. We also regularly check the petrol pumps and their flow meters to make sure they are dispensing their fuel accurately.
At work, David often refers to our publications, especially the ones that help him avoid being ripped-off by con-artists who target businesses as well as individuals with their scams.
On his way home from work David nipped into the supermarket to do some shopping. He chose some fruit and vegetables and weighed them on machines we checked to make sure they were accurate. At the register he watched the prices displayed on the scanner we also checked.
Afterwards David picked up a brochure from his travel agent, because he was planning a holiday surprise for his family to the Gold Coast. We licensed his travel agent.
David had promised to do the shopping and get the dinner ready so that Linda could spend some time at the gym. We help to make sure that her fitness centre doesn’t charge big upfront fees by administering the legislation relating to Fitness Centres.
David’s parents live in the country. His father is a farmer who is involved in a dairy co-operative. His co-operative was formed with our help and is registered with us.
Linda’s parents are retired and live in a retirement village. We look after them too by making sure that retirement village operators meet all the requirements of the laws for retirement villages and that residents have a say in the way their fees are spent.
These are just some of the ways in which we work in the background to make sure that your life runs more smoothly. Of course, sometimes things go wrong and don’t run smoothly at all. That’s when you might need to come to us for some help with a consumer problem.
NSW Fair Trading can be a powerful ally to help you ensure that your consumer rights are protected.
If you would like to contact Fair Trading, you can do so on 13 32 20.
You probably weren’t aware of all the things we do to help you. Why don’t you take the time to check out the rest of our web site and see for yourself the range of things we do?