The Consumer Action Law Centre regularly receives complaints about the in home sale of very expensive educational software and, sadly, many of these complaints come from families who have recently migrated to Australia and are unfamiliar with its education system.
Many of these families have been subject to high pressure sales tactics, where the salesperson makes them think their children’s education and future job prospects will suffer if they don’t buy the software.
The packages people complain to us about can cost thousands of dollars. They are sometimes sold with costly credit or through expensive instalment payments, which can be the cause of significant financial stress. Consumer Action has also been told by callers that support services sold with the software, such as tutoring, are often not provided, prove to be sub-standard, or can be impossible to access.
Alternatives are out there for children who need help developing their skills, including many free education software programs that can be accessed online. The Victoria’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development publishes a website that brings together a range of learning and development services for children, young people and adults.
FUSE is Government run webpage which is designed to enable teachers and students to Find, Use and Share quality Education resources.
The site links to a large range of websites with quality information, activities, information for projects and educational games for children of all ages, and you can find appropriate resources sorted by your child’s school level:
If you need more help, contact your children’s school and ask for their recommendations.
If you’ve been pressured into buying an education software package during an in home sale, our factsheet may be able to provide assistance or you can call our free legal advice telephone line on 1800 466 477.
Media contact: Dan Simpson, 0413 299 567
To view a PDF of the media release please click: Explore all your options before buying education software.