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Consumers and contracts

Who is a consumer?

A consumer is a person who buys or hires goods or services for their own use.

Goods include:

  • food
  • clothes
  • appliances
  • furniture etc.

Services include:

  • car maintenance
  • meals served in restaurants
  • a haircut by a hairdresser.

Who is a trader?

A trader is a person who runs a business supplying people with goods or services. Most professionals, like dentists, valuers, town planning consultants, doctors and lawyers are not considered to be traders so you cannot take action against them in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

If your claim is about building work it will usually be dealt with by other procedures in QCAT which are not covered in this guide.

What is a contract?

A contract is an agreement reached between two or more people. When you offer to buy something from a trader and they accept your offer you have formed a legally binding contract.

If you’re not sure whether there was a contract between you and the trader you should get legal advice.

Is there a time limit?

There is a time limit. Usually you have six years to make a claim. Talk to a lawyer to find out the time limit to your situation.

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