Ways you can protect yourself
There are things you can do to make sure you receive the correct quantity. If you're unable to resolve an issue with a seller, there are additional steps you can take.
Check measuring equipment and labelling
When you buy goods by weight or measure:
- always check that the scale or petrol pump is on zero before you're served
- if the quantity isn't marked on a package, you can ask for a written statement of the quantity of the goods
- if you're buying pre-packed goods that have been packed on the premises, you can ask for them to be re-weighed, measured or counted in front of you.
If goods are weighed in front of you, check that the scales the trader is using are suitable:
- Look for a 'certificate of accuracy' sticker, which shows that weighing/measuring equipment is checked annually.
- You should also find — often on the side or back of the scales — a small round lead plug or an adhesive destructible label with a crown or the letters "AP" and a number on it. Sometimes it may be a lead seal and wire. This shows that the scales are approved for trade and were tested before they were first put into use.
See Certificate of accuracy for sample images.
If there's a problem
If you think you've received less than you paid for, or if you think a seller is using non-compliant weighing or measuring equipment, you can:
- ask the seller to re-weigh or measure the goods in front of you
- tell the seller you believe they've sold you short weight or measure
- check whether the scale or petrol pump has a current certificate of accuracy sticker.
If the seller won't help, keep your receipt and contact us using our online complaint form.
Penalties for breaking the law
We can seize goods that are short weight or measure, and inaccurate weighing or measuring equipment. Infringement Offence Notices for $200 and $500 can be issued for each offence.
The courts may impose fines of up to $30,000 for serious breaches, plus $250 a day for each day the breach continues.