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Electronic Bazaar Operator Faces ACCC Allegations

Electronic Bazaar Operator Faces ACCC AllegationsThe ACCC today advised it has issued proceedings in the Federal Court, alleging the operator Dhruv Chopra made false or misleading representations about the availability of consumer refund rights and the extent of Electronic Bazaar’s liability for faulty goods.

Electronic Bazaar sells a range of electronic goods, including digital cameras, mobile phones and laptops.

“The alleged representations include statements to the effect that consumers who purchased goods through the Electronic Bazaar website were not entitled to a refund for goods which were no longer under an express warranty; or where the goods had been used or not in original condition or packaging; or unless the goods were faulty on arrival; or unless a claim was made within a specified time period,” the ACCC stated.

The ACCC additionally alleges Chopra made false or misleading representations that consumers’ refund rights were against a company called “Unreal Technologies Private Limited” or “Unreal Technology Private Limited”, when neither of those companies existed.

The ACCC – which is seeking interim injunctions against Chopra to restrain him from continuing to engage in the alleged conduct, pecuniary penalties, declarations that he contravened the Australian Consumer Law, final injunctions and costs – also alleges he wrongly accepted payment on four separate occasions by not supplying goods within the specified time or, where no time was specified, within a reasonable time.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court stated “consumer issues in the online marketplace are an ACCC priority”, adding the ACCC has a particular focus on representations about the rights of consumers when they are buying products or seeking refunds.

“Consumers are entitled to receive a refund, repair or replacement, including when the goods purchased are faulty or do not match their description,” Court stated. “Traders cannot impose terms and conditions that exclude or waive these consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law.”

The matter has been filed in the Federal Court’s Fast Track List and is listed for an interlocutory hearing in Melbourne on December 16, the ACCC advised.