The ACCC alleges that the owner of Electronic Bazaar made false
and misleading representations about:
the availability of consumer refund rights
– suggesting that customers were not entitled to a refund for
goods which were, for example, no longer under an express warranty,
or not in original packaging; and
the extent of the store's liability for faulty
goods – suggesting that customers needed to claim
against certain companies which do not in fact exist.
There are certain scenarios where it is difficult for us to
Return request is made outside the specified time
Product is damaged because of use or Product is not in the
same condition as you received it
Defective products which are covered under the
Items that are returned without original
These representations are false and misleading because customers
are entitled to receive a refund, repair or replacement including
when the goods purchased are faulty or do not match their
description – despite any attempts by the retailer to limit
this right by suggesting otherwise.
The ACCC is seeking injunctions against the retailer's owner
to restrain him from continuing with the conduct in question,
pecuniary penalties, declarations that he breached the ACL, and
costs. The case is listed for an interlocutory hearing in the
Federal Court in Melbourne on 16 December 2014.
Lessons to be learnt ...
If you operate an online retail store, it is worthwhile to have
a lawyer at Shire Legal review your website prior to publication,
to ensure that it does not breach the false and misleading
provisions of the ACL. This is particularly important when you
consider that the pecuniary penalties payable alone for a breach of
the ACL are substantial – up to $1.1 million for a
corporation, and $220,000 for an individual.
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 Federal Court decision is likely to encourage the ACCC to maintain unconscionable conduct as an enforcement priority.
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