The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC) recently announced that it considers terms
such as "WiFi Ready" or "Wireless LAN Ready" to
have potential to mislead consumers and breach the Australian
Consumer Law (ACL) when used on certain electronic
products, such as TVs and Blu Ray players, which require additional
devices to be purchased to provide the WiFi or wireless
Five leading audio visual manufacturers have agreed to include
in their promotional materials and on their websites prominent
statements such as "USB Wireless LAN adaptor required",
"WiFi Capable with Optional Adaptor" or "Wireless
LAN Adaptor required, sold separately", where their products
require additional devices to be purchased.
What does the ACCC's announcement mean for suppliers of
WiFi or Wireless LAN enabled products?
The announcement is particularly relevant for manufacturers and
suppliers of WiFi and Wireless LAN enabled devices who should:
check the functionality of these products and ensure that
unqualified claims of "WiFi Ready" or "Wireless LAN
Ready" are only made on products with built-in devices, or
devices sold or bundled together with the product, which are
capable of delivering the WiFi or Wireless LAN capability; and
call out prominently in all marketing and product labelling
where additional devices are required in order for products to have
WiFi or Wireless LAN capability.
At a time when more and more content is being supplied over
internet enabled devices and the ability to connect through WiFi or
wireless networks is assuming increasing importance to consumers,
the ACCC's announcement sends a message, not just to
manufacturers and suppliers of WiFi or Wireless LAN enabled
products, but to anyone making claims about the availability of
connection to such networks to take care to ensure that all
relevant requirements for connection are specified. As far as the
ACCC is concerned, it's not enough to be ready, or even
willing, you must also be able.
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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