In what should be a warning to others, the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission
("ACCC") has already obtained
undertakings from two solar companies for allegedly misleading
claims in relation to the effect of the carbon price on electricity
Polaris Solar and ACT Renewable Energy produced and distributed
leaflets promoting the sale of solar panels by claiming that
electricity prices would increase by 20% due to the introduction of
the carbon price alone, and that by 2019 electricity prices would
increase by over 400%. The leaflets also represented that the
figures were based on independent studies, when they were actually
based on unverified claims taken from a newspaper
Last month, we produced an
article in addition to an
article written late last year, where we discussed the need for
businesses to be careful when making claims about the impact of the
carbon price on their business and their pricing, and the potential
for misleading claims to breach the Australian Consumer Law. The
ACCC has been directed by the Australian government to undertake a
compliance and enforcement role in relation to such claims.
This case highlights the need for businesses to use caution when
relying on third party information as the basis for their
The ACCC is also investigating a communication sent by bakery
franchise Brumby's to its franchisees, advising franchisees to
use the carbon price as an excuse for raising prices. Businesses
are not prohibited from raising prices, but any claims that price
rises are due to the impact of the carbon price must be truthful
and have a reasonable basis.
No doubt these are not the only businesses on the ACCC's
radar. Don't be next in line - ensure that any claims your
business makes, or advises others to make, are accurate and have
been carefully considered. If you have any further questions in
relation to communicating the impact of the carbon price on your
business, or compliance with the Australian Consumer Law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Sportscraft refunds and returns policy limitations went beyond consumer's rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
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