A hamper is a package that usually contains food, but can include things like electronics and furniture. You make small payments each week and get the hamper when you've made all the payments.
The real cost of a hamper
Making small payments over a long time can seem useful, but the payments add up. You can end up paying a lot of money for something you could get cheaper in a shop. There may also be a delivery fee.
When buying a hamper, check the price of individual items at your local shop or supermarket.
For example, a hamper of chips, chocolates and soft drinks might cost $18 a week for five months. Over a five month contract you would end up paying around $360. If you bought the same things from a supermarket you would only pay around $180.
Managing your hamper payments
Make sure you know what all the payments are and when they are due.
If the payments are due every fortnight, make sure you have enough money in your bank account to cover it.
If you don't have enough money in your account and you miss a payment, you may be charged fees. And, any future payments will increase to make sure you pay off the hamper before it gets delivered.
If you are having trouble making payments, contact the company to find out what your options are.
Instead of making regular payments for a hamper, put the money into a savings account. Once you've saved enough money you can buy the items yourself.
Cancelling a hamper
There are no fees if you cancel your hamper within the cooling-off period. This is usually 21 days from the date of the original order.
If you cancel the hamper outside of the cooling-off period, you may have to pay a cancellation fee. Cancellation fees can be up to 50% of what you have already paid.
If you buy a hamper under a lay-by agreement, you can cancel at any time before it's delivered. If you cancel your lay-by, the seller must refund all of your payment, minus a reasonable cancellation fee.
Complaining about hampers
If you have questions about your consumer rights when buying a hamper, ask:
- your state or territory consumer affairs agency, or
- the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
You can also contact ASIC's Indigenous Outreach Team — call 1300 365 957 or email [email protected].