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We’re loving the sharing economy but do you know your rights if things go wrong?

If you’ve ever used services like Uber, AirBNB or Airtasker, you’re part of the booming sharing economy but while they are quite convenient – do you know your rights if things don’t go to plan?

These platforms have been enormously successful and offer a convenient way to obtain goods and services being offered by other members of the public rather than an organisation.

But what happens when things go wrong? Where does a customer stand?

The good news is anyone using these services through an online marketplace or sharing economy platform have the full protection of Australian Consumer Law.

It’s no different to the protection offered to a customer who buys something in a store.

Australian state and territory governments today launched a national campaign to help educate customers and traders about their rights when using the sharing economy platforms.

There are six educational videos that address sharing economy issues including protection, reviews, cancellations, remedies, resolving disputes and advertising.

These videos guide viewers through their rights and how they can take action if they don’t get what they pay for.

Here’s what you need to do if things go wrong to resolve your issue.

– Speak to the seller or service provider

– Use the platform’s internal dispute resolution process if they have one

– Writer factual review on their own platform and rate the trader

– lodge a complaint with the consumer affairs agency in your state or territory

More than half the Australian population is already using the sharing economy platforms which are held to the same standards as traditional platforms which are already established.

For further information about your rights and responsibilities in the sharing economy go to the Australian Consumer Law website.

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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  • Chris Basten

    “The sharing economy” is a misnomer and a con. What do these companies “Share” other than other people cars or homes or apartments in order to run legally dodgy taxi services or second rate hotels? They are exploitative American capitalism at it’s worst. They dont care about the disruption caused in apartment buildings when someone opens theirs to Airbnb and it turns into party central for backpackers. They ignore local rules and regulations and turn people like uber drivers into peons or serfs all for the profit of venture capitalists and people with more billions of dollars than regard for others. Sharing? rubbish.