WA Australian Consumer Law - Getting Refund for Online Order?

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Tiger Lily

29 October 2016
I will try to keep this succinct...

I placed an order on an online store for a mobile phone. My payment by debit card was accepted, and I assumed all was good. Three weeks on, and still having not received the phone, I went back over my emails and realised that I'd missed an email from someone in the company (probably because the email did not have the company name in it) asking for proof of identification, in the form of a photo or scan of my driver's licence, debit card, or a letterhead that included my name and address; a paid email address or a landline phone number.

I don't have the second two options, and did not feel comfortable with the other options, in fact, I was downright suspicious, especially sharing information like that via email.

The email said I could cancel the order and that they would refund me, so I requested that option. A couple of weeks on I hadn't had any communication or refund, so I emailed them again, this time at the company address. They informed me that because they needed verification of my identity, the transaction had not gone through. I replied that according to my bank statement, it had gone through. They then told me to talk to my bank, implying that the problem is with my bank! This is as far as I have gotten.

My first question: Can they actually legally ask for my identity like that? I feel providing that information - especially by email - would leave me wide open to identity theft.

My second question: What now? Where can I go from here? If they don't refund, can I take legal action against them under Australian Consumer Law?


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
can they actually legally ask for my identity like that?

They can ask, you can refuse. There is no legal requirement to provide more than name and address. They may be confusing the sale of a mobile with the purchase of a mobile phone service which also provides a phone.

I had a similar argument with a bricks and mortar store. They refused to sell me the phone unless they copied my licence. I had the choice to walk away or proceed. I decided to buy because the deal was a good one. Possible show a gas/electricty bill with the account number blacked out.

My second question: what now? Where can I go from here? If they don't refund can I take legal action against them?

Provide ID or show them the transaction from your bank and demand refund within 14 days and if they don't pay take them to SAT.