Electronic Bazaar Operator Ordered To Pay $100,000 For Misleading Consumers
Electronic Bazaar sold electronic goods such as camcorders, digital cameras, mobile phones, laptops and projectors via its website, with the court finding the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) had been contravened.
The court declared that since at least 21 May 2014, Chopra had made false or misleading representations to consumers about the availability of refunds and the extent of Electronic Bazaar’s liability for faulty goods, the ACCC today advised.
Representations included that consumers were not entitled to a refund, repair or replacement for goods in various circumstances, including where the goods were no longer under an express warranty, where the goods had been used or were not in their original packaging, or unless a claim was made within a specified time period.
Chopra was found to have made false or misleading representations that consumers’ refund rights were against a company called “Unreal Technologies Private Limited” or “Unreal Technology Private Limited”, however neither of those companies existed.
The court also declared that between June 2012 and July 2014on four separate occasions Chopra had accepted payment for goods, however had failed to supply the goods to consumers within a specified, or reasonable, time frame.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims stated the penalty “makes it clear that this conduct is a serious breach of the Australian Consumer Law”.
“A consumer’s right to a refund, repair or replacement in certain circumstances under the ACL consumer guarantees cannot be excluded or modified by terms or conditions published on a website,” Sims stated.
Sims added that the penalty imposed for failure to supply goods within a specified or reasonable time frame also highlights that online traders need to ensure that when accepting payments for goods, that they must “be able to supply those goods within the stated time frame, or otherwise within a reasonable period”.