VIC Australian Consumer Law - No Notification of Order Being Refunded

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24 September 2015
I bought a product from an online vendor located in Victoria. After a period of time had elapsed and I had not received anything, I contacted them and was told that the order had been refunded ten days after it was placed due to “incorrect pricing”. I was not informed that the order had been cancelled or refunded until this communication, and no explanation was given for the ten day delay.

I have looked at the Australian Consumer Law and I understand that businesses have an option to cancel orders at the time of sale if they have been incorrectly priced, but it seems to me that since I was never told by the vendor that they wished to cancel the order, they ought now to fulfil it.

The second problem is that I am not in Australia, so I paid in a foreign currency that was converted by my credit card to Australian dollars. Having examined my credit card statement, I see that when the refund was silently made ten days after the order, the exchange rate was less favourable, so I have lost money due to the currency fluctuation.

What does the law require of the vendor in this situation? Are they obliged to fulfil the order? Can I at least expect the vendor to refund the money I have lost because of their timing of the refund?

Thank you for your help.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi James,

If the company incorrectly priced the item, it may be reasonable that they honour this incorrect pricing for existing orders. Definitely speak with Consumer Affairs Victoria about this. It may be worth negotiating with the seller about this. As for the currency issue, unfortunately, my understanding is that the seller is only entitled to refund you the Australian price (that they received and that was marked on the internet/catalogue). The reason is, you chose to pay with a foreign currency, so you bear the extra costs of the conversion/bank fees etc. any refund made will also be in the local currency, the difference might be a bank fee (or bank determined rate as a sort of "bank fee").