5th Jul 2017
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ACCC to investigate the Aveo national retirement village scandal
ACCC to investigate the Aveo national retirement village scandal

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will launch an investigation of the “more serious matters being raised” in the Aveo retirement village scandal.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said there also needs to be a wider review of the sector, which should involve the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and state regulators.

The investigation comes on the heels of the many complaints and calls for action made to the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt.

Mr Wyatt believes a national approach to regulating the aged care sector is required.

"This is clearly an area where the Commonwealth cannot act alone," he said.

"Though they [the states] have primary responsibility for regulating this sector, the Commonwealth needs to be assured the overall national system of consumer protection has strong safeguards for older people."

There are three main areas the ACCC will investigate: misleading conduct, unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct.

The spotlight has been on the retirement village industry after a media investigation into questionable practices. The investigation uncovered dodgy dealings, particularly at Aveo-owned operations, which include turning out residents to collect hefty exit fees, price gouging, misleading advertising and marketing promises, and breaches of safety and emergency service protocols.

Former ACCC chairman Allan Fels says that the retirement village scandal is the greatest untouched consumer protection issue of this century.

Read more at The Australian Financial Review

What do you think should happen to Aveo? Do you have family who are, or are you, affected by this scandal?

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    COMMENTS

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    Rosret
    5th Jul 2017
    10:12am
    Its a start. :)
    Therese
    5th Jul 2017
    10:35am
    Those contracts made by AVEO should be cancelled due to unfairness. They should be forced to enter into a new contract with all the residents they have. The contract should follow the "Retirement Villages Amendment (Standard Contract) Regulation 2013
    under the Retirement Villages Act 1999
    Published LW 26 April 2013
    This can be found under fairtrading.nsw.gov.au. I am sure other states have similar information available. It is time that all Aged Care contracts are Uniform. Taxpayer are paying the Providers for some of their costs.We do not need foreign companies running our aged care facilities as it is obvious their interest is only in "maximise shareholders wealth"
    Old Geezer
    5th Jul 2017
    10:36am
    Aveo need to be heavily fined and banned from operating any age care facilities.
    MICK
    5th Jul 2017
    10:56am
    The ACCC investigates nix. It would have been dragged kicking and screaming to do this. That is what it is compelled to do to justify the public money which it gets for its army of letter writing and non performing staff.
    Bring back a REAL ACCC leader, Alan Fels.....gotten rid of because he did the job too well and industry was not going to put up with that.
    Juris
    5th Jul 2017
    12:30pm
    I'm totally with you Mick. Investigations should also include over 50/55's Villages. I have been trying to get refunds for overcharging for the period 01 July 2014 to 01 April 2017, with some action and refunds slowly trickling through now. I started with Fair Trading, then NCAT, ACCC, AER, politicians and a few others. It seems it is all in the too hard basket. ACCC can't even reply, but then again I sent 166 pages of documents in 2014 so that might of scared them off. EWON have been very helpful, but guess what - the have now powers. Older people suffer, but who is really to blame?
    tia-maria
    8th Jul 2017
    6:57pm
    juris, what village area do you live in? we are with Gateway not happy with them either............
    We down size thinking we doing the right thing and unfortunately (we dont have any excess fees in Relocatable village........BUT..... my heart goes out to the ones who are trap with massive excess fees...............OUR POLITICIANS SHOULD STAND UP FOR US AND HELP THE RETIRED PENSIONERS.
    mike
    5th Jul 2017
    11:07am
    We were in the UK and read of a case where an elderly patient was being abused by a staff member. Her son placed a hidden camera in her room and got evidence of the abuse and the staff member was convicted. My mother ( now deceased) had been threatened and my brother was going to do something similar but when mentioned to a solicitor, he was told very bluntly, leave it alone. In Australia, privacy is more important than elderly abuse. You will go to jail for breaching someones elses privacy, the elderly abuse is immaterial.
    HarrysOpinion
    5th Jul 2017
    2:31pm
    However, there are exceptions (exemptions). All laws have them like loopholes. Get a different solicitor !
    Triss
    5th Jul 2017
    2:33pm
    I would have done it anyway and sacked that bone idle solicitor.
    johnp
    5th Jul 2017
    12:12pm
    these comments are valid, as well as very significant and relevant regarding this issue and need to be made known more prominently via the media; for the publics' sake
    sooty
    5th Jul 2017
    1:21pm
    While they're at it publicly name and shame the "legal eagles" who put all these hidden rules into the contracts. These bastards need to be outed for the stress they put older people through and allow the rip-off operators to do what Ned Kelly couldn't, i.e. "get away with murder".
    tia-maria
    8th Jul 2017
    6:58pm
    sooty the stress added to retired pensioners is a blasted disgrace
    Ted Wards
    5th Jul 2017
    1:22pm
    Trouble is this is only the tip of the iceberg and its not only Aveo! Retirement Village does not come under the aged care system but there is a national aged care system. You'd thing the Minister would know that. There are more issues than have been discussed yet such as not allowing residents to see their own doctors. There is an epidemic of scabies amongst many of the residents and they are not allowed to see any other doctor than the Aveo one. You ain't heard nothing yet!
    MICK
    5th Jul 2017
    8:05pm
    This is a time bomb but I was surprised to discover that about two thirds of retirement villages were not for profit. I have to wonder if they mistreat their patrons as well. Any stories?????
    HarrysOpinion
    5th Jul 2017
    2:17pm
    ACCC will investigate: misleading conduct, unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct
    -Good call ! -
    MICK
    5th Jul 2017
    8:06pm
    The ACCC is a wate of money. Been there done that. All they do is to respond to letters fobbing off concerns to other institutions or government departments.
    We do not need our taxes going to an organisation of self justifying bureaucrats who do not do what they were set up to do.
    AutumnOz
    5th Jul 2017
    2:19pm
    The aged need to be protected from these vampire companies, many, if not most, of them foreign owned. The profits go off shore and are not available for refund even if the person can get out of the contract they signed, often with the advice of their solicitor. If they have to pay up to half the cost of their unit in exit fees they cannot afford to move away.
    In my opinion retirement villages, aged care units, nursing homes and aged care facilities should be run by Australians for Australians with protection for the residents provided by the Australian government(s).
    This is a subject that should not be thrown into the "too hard basket" by each and every government leaving the elderly and aged people to the mercy of rapacious profiteering companies with no thought for anything except their profits.
    Triss
    5th Jul 2017
    2:51pm
    Yes, AutumnOz, you're right but we have a multi millionaire at the helm who doesn't understand anything but profit, profit.
    We need some strong rules and residents should be consulted and allowed some input
    Needy not Greedy
    5th Jul 2017
    3:25pm
    One must ask, where is that spineless Turnbull and his cronies when scandals involving financial abuse towards the elderly arise, the useless prick was only too quick to publicly give a glowing reference of a footballer mate, but slow to get in front of the cameras and denounce Aveo and the rest of the parasites for their shonky contracts and dealings with the elderly, hopefully the ACCC will show some balls and expose the rotten operators in this industry, we looked at downsizing to a retirement village back in March this year, and it was quickly apparent that many use the same or similar format to Aveo, it's a sad state of affairs when it has to be a television program that initiates action.
    MICK
    5th Jul 2017
    8:10pm
    Perhaps the more pertinent question is WHY does the media not stay on the real stories: corporate tax avoidance, offshore tax shelters where money is laundered, bogus unemployment figures, politicians telling blatant lies and fraudulent electoral donations plus after politics rewards for giving business wealth creating policy decisions.
    There's plenty of really important bad stuff out there which is crippling our country. THE MEDIA WILL NOT STAY ON TASK THOUGH. Not unexpected when you see who the media pushes into office at election time.
    Tom Tank
    5th Jul 2017
    3:26pm
    Long overdue but down to our lax government who actively promote private ownership of everything currently own by us the Australian Public.
    JFH
    5th Jul 2017
    4:03pm
    The Aveo issues reported are only the tip of the iceberg that is going on for residents of Aveo Villages Australia wide.

    My mother is in Aveo Carindale village. She purchased her villa believing it was going to be peaceful living for the balance of her remaining life. 2 years after her purchase she and the village residents are told AVeo is going to redevelop the whole site ie 6 towers (5 = 10 stories), 115 bed nursing home and a muldisciplinary medical centre (for public use) on the site.

    Residents are coercised to "relocate" on the site and live there while the site is developed, which has approval to work 12 hours/day, 6 days/ week for 6 years.

    My 84 year old mother advised them she is not moving, this is not what she bought into. They advised they will build a 5 level tower 2 -3 metres from her villa wall if she stays. She is expected to live through significant earth works 2- 3 metres from her property wall and endure the upheaval of construction of this first 5 level tower whilst her Aveo contract states the operator "Aveo" must provide a peaceful and tranquil environment to the resident for the duration of her contract.

    Aveo are using bullying, harassment, intimidation, deceit and coercion on her. Not to mention not honouring her rights in her contract of a quiet and peaceful lifestyle and without a doubt shortening her life span with the stress of their actions.

    It is absolutely disgusting and beyond belief.
    Aveo are not treating the existing residents in their multiple development sites fairly equitably or honourably.

    This is merely just one story of which we have many of other villages and other residents.
    Needy not Greedy
    5th Jul 2017
    6:37pm
    Sounds like not only do Aveo have shonky contracts but they don't honour resident protection clauses either, if the village was populated with illegal immigrants and they were subjected to bullying, harassment, intimidation, deceit and coercion they would most likely sue and get $90 million of tax payers money, maybe more because the pricks on Manus only had a bit of bad drinking water and accomodation woes!
    GeorgeM
    5th Jul 2017
    4:57pm
    A Royal Commission is long overdue in this sector - preferably with Allan Fels leading it.
    MICK
    5th Jul 2017
    8:11pm
    The problem with Royal Commissions from this government is they want to determine the outcomes before they start. Fels would never wear that so he'll never get a call.
    Eddy
    5th Jul 2017
    8:37pm
    Quite so Mick, during my Queensland days I actually heard Joh Bjelke-Petersen say that he would never hold an inquiry unless he first knew what the result would be.
    flanjam
    6th Jul 2017
    2:58am
    Looked into his group and ordered in brochures of new complexes. Searching from interstate everything I read made me uneasy about their modus operandi and their marketing. No direct answers just a FAQs etc and promises of things to come. Moral do your research and then try to understand the industry from their view. You wouldn't touch them with a barge poke. AVEO not the only ones buyers beware.
    flanjam
    6th Jul 2017
    3:02am
    Excuse typos. Mass removed from brain 24 hours ago and eyes are suffering. Hope you understand what it is I wanted to say,
    Jezemeg8
    6th Jul 2017
    7:00am
    I once investigated going into such a community but quickly realized it was unaffordable and unwise to continue. I had the advantage of knowing several existing residents and their horror stories were enough to convince me that it would be foolish to continue. I'll stay where I am thanks!! Not everyone has the advantage of being able to contact existing residents and getting their true opinion. The majority advised me to RUN and don't look back!!!
    fish head
    6th Jul 2017
    10:57am
    Whole sector needs to be put under the microscope and examined - closely
    Elder abuse.
    11th Jul 2017
    1:30pm
    The trend for village owners is to take over services and charge a premium to residents in the way of so called management fees. eg Telecommunications, No choice of providers - Internet charges approx. $90 / month for unlimited access to internet. Industry standard is about $60 for the same service. Village Owners charging their fees to the village budget eg Property Council Fees. Management Fees for running a village using a so called Industry. Standard of approximately $12 per resident per week with no transparency to what this is used for. Village owners do not always show budget details or have discussion re annual village budget apparently by law, the village owners do not have to consult with residents again a lack of transparency. We as residents have a long way to go.
    Elder abuse.
    15th Jul 2017
    3:57pm
    There are certainly worrying times for retirees in Retirement Villages with Village Owners trending to take over various service contracts such as Gas & Electricity, Telecommunications, Unit Management repairs along with Management Fees - being charged at the so called Industry Standard (without details of these charges).
    johnp
    16th Jul 2017
    2:09pm
    Must admit I havent read all the posts here. But would anyone know of an alternative to Aveo with say similar living setup, facilities etc but not the onerous financial issues ??


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