NSW Mislead into a leasing contract through well known retailer

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20 February 2019
What rights do I have in canceling a leasing contract? I went into a store asking to apply for an interest free loan to purchase a $6000 computer and was convinced by the salesperson, for tax reasons to sign up for what I thought was a finance option but instead turned out to be a lease contract.
At no time was the word "Lease" mentioned, he made me believe it was finance I was applying for.
I have since contacted the Leasing company who advised me the sales people selling the lease agreements are advised to disclose all details to consumers.
This was not the case, I was told nothing.
They also advised me that a representative from their leasing company was meant to contact me to confirm their leasing terms before I signed the contract.
This also did not happen.
I have emailed the business I purchased the computer from asking to cancel this contract, I am still wanting to purchase the computer, I just do not wish to lease it.
I am waiting to hear back from them.
Where can I go from here. I feel victimised and cheated by what has happened.

Rob Legat - SBPL

LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
Gold Coast, Queensland
There may be some miscommunication here. 'Finance' is an umbrella term that includes a range of options - including leasing and borrowing. If you meant 'borrow' but said 'finance' and didn't say 'not lease', then that may have been the genesis of the confusion. However, you should have been told exactly what type of product you were getting.

If you obtained the product for consumer purposes, the transaction most likely comes under the National Credit Code (covers both loans and leases) - especially if it is a lease with an option to purchase the computer (they're considered to be a sale by instalments, and are more akin to a loan).

Either way, there are a raft of penalties for failure to comply with the requirements of the National Credit Code. The law is weighted very heavily in favour of the consumer. If they had complied with their obligations there's little change you would not have known you were entering into the lease except if you were willfully ignorant - I'm not suggesting you were, merely stating that the disclosure must be that obvious.

To provide consumer leases, the leasing company must hold an Australian Credit Licence and part of that requirement is holding external dispute resolution (EDR) membership. You've expressed your situation to them, so they should be dealing with it through their internal dispute resolution (IDR) procedures. If you're not satisfied with that, you can take it to AFCA (www.afca.org.au) who are the one and only approved EDR scheme. IDR must take place before EDR.

If you don't receive acknowledgment of your complaint within a week, make contact to confirm they are treating it through their IDR and ask for a copy of their dispute resolution policy. Unless you agree to an extension, they have a maximum of 45 days in which to provide a response to your compaint.