Judge fines computer shop $750k for misleading consumers
Competition & Consumer Protection October 25, 2017 3:02 pm By Cat Fredenburgh | Melbourne

A Federal Court judge has ordered Australian computer retailer MSY Technology to cough up $750,000 for misrepresenting consumers rights to remedies on faulty products. The […]

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The terms and conditions posted on the computer retailer’s website violate the Australian Consumer Law by mandating product returns within 7 days, making refunds available at the company’s discretion, limiting the type of remedy available, charging an administrative fee, and making software non-refundable, Federal Judge Markovic wrote in the order handed down Wednesday.

Such restrictions on consumer remedies for faulty products run afoul of the Australian Consumer Law, the judge said.

“Businesses must ensure their refund and returns policies, and any representations accurately reflect their obligations under consumer law,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said Wednesday.

“These proceedings and the penalties imposed signal to businesses that the ACCC will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action where it identifies misleading representations about consumers’ rights,” Ms. Rickard said.

The Federal Court made other orders by consent including injunctions, a comprehensive ACL compliance training program, publication orders, and payment of $50,000 towards the ACCC’s costs, the ACCC said.

This is not the first time the computer retailer, which operates 28 stores across Australia, has run into trouble with the ACCC. The consumer regulator brought an action against MSY in 2011 that resulted in fines of $203,500 for false and misleading consumer warranty representations, the ACCC said.

The ACCC is represented in the matter by Norton Rose Fulbright. MSY Technology is represented by Access Law. The case is ACCC v. MSY Technology Pty Ltd.