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VIC Professional's Tardiness - Liable for Cancellation Fee Under Australian Consumer Law?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by dances with pugs, 15 May 2016.

  1. dances with pugs

    14 May 2016
    Likes Received:
    Did my actions constitute a cancellation making me liable?

    Last night, I had an appointment at 8:00 PM. I arrived and checked in at 7:50 PM. At 8:15 PM, I got tired of waiting and left. When I informed the receptionist of this, she offered no information as to estimated further waiting time. Nor did she offer to reschedule.

    The provider insists I "pay for the appointment time" ($130), presumably as a cancellation fee. Please note: The person I had the appointment with was the "no-show". I was on time (in fact, early). Under Australian Consumer Law - how long am I expected to wait for the professional? Had I been late, they would have been well justified in requesting this fee.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi there,

    Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses that charge a cancellation fee must have a Cancellation Policy which includes
    • Terms & Conditions
    • the process required to cancel a booking - e.g. providing reasonable notice to the business so that your free appointment slot can be filled by another client
    • applicable fees that may be charged to you if you do not satisfy the conditions for cancelling your appointment.
    The Office of Fair Trading states a business is within its rights to charge a cancellation or “no-show” fee for appointments, so long as this has been communicated to a new patient or customer before making the appointment.

    Under the Australian Consumer Law, there is also an implied guarantee that any services must be delivered within a reasonable time - when there is no agreed date or time by which they are to be completed. You may be able to rely on this to assert that he breached this guarantee by failing to provide the agreed service within a reasonable time of the appointment start time which resulted in your right to terminate the contract.
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