Surge in small business calls to competition regulator

A new ACCC report has revealed a dramatic increase in the number of complaints from small business.

In its Small Business in Focus report, ACCC figures show that in the six months between July and December 2013 the regulator received approximately 3,600 complaints from small businesses – an increase of 84 per cent compared to the first half of 2013.

ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper explained the growth in complaints reflected the education and empowerment of the sector.

One of the major issues raised in the calls was related to misleading conduct and false representations. These alone accounted for over 1,400 complaints.

Dr Schaper also pointed to the rise in traffic to its online small business education program, and credited the rise in complaints comes with increased awareness campaigns run by the ACCC within the small business sector.

Small businesses were also concerned with consumer guarantees.

“The Australian Consumer Law not only spells out the responsibilities of businesses towards their consumers, but also gives small firms certain protections. Australian businesses contacted us because they wanted to know both sides of the coin,” Dr Schaper said.

The ACCC also released advice on using business and review platforms to help them reduce the chance of misleading consumers through online reviews.

Related Stories