Retailers must not mislead customers about the amount of money
they are saving during advertised sale periods.
ACCC V JEWELLERY GROUP PTY LIMITED (NO 2)  FCA 14
Last month, the Federal Court found that Zamel's Jewellers
engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or
misleading representations by distributing numerous catalogues
promoting the sale of jewellery using dual-pricing.
By using strikethrough and was/now pricing techniques,
Zamel's represented to customers that customers would save the
difference between the compared prices if those customers purchased
the items during the sale being advertised in the relevant
catalogue. This representation was misleading because Zamel's
did not in fact sell or rarely sold the items in question at the
higher price in the period immediately before the relevant
catalogue sale period.
Court ordered that Zamel's pay pecuniary penalties of
$250,000 in respect of the contraventions of the Trade Practice Act
(as it then was) and the ACCC's costs.
In addition to the significant pecuniary penalties, the court
ordered that Zamel's publish corrective advertising, implement
a compliance program, conduct a risk assessment to assess the
likelihood of the contraventions reoccurring, establish, maintain
and administer a trade practices complaints handling system,
implement staff training and conduct an external review of the
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
Strikethrough and was/now pricing is not novel or new for the
retail sector. However, what has shifted is the duration of sales
periods. The traditional bi-annual sales periods following
Christmas and mid-year have been replaced with constant sales
campaigns throughout the year. A walk down the main street of any
capital city throughout the country reveals that a majority of
retail stores are advertising some type of discount.
Clients tell us that the result of this shift is that consumers
are no longer prepared to pay full price for quality items.
Retailers must adapt and be creative. If they need to sell goods
for a reduced price for prolonged periods they need to ensure that
their marketing campaigns do not fall foul of the law by creating a
The Sportscraft refunds and returns policy limitations went beyond consumer's rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
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