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ACCC Move To Rein In Extended Warranties

Following their ongoing review of warranty-selling practices, the ACCC has moved to accept court enforceable undertakings from two companies – one of which is a Harvey-Norman subsidiary.

“The ACCC has been concerned with the conduct of some retailers overstating the benefits of buying an extended warranty, when consumers have the free protection of consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL),” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

As a result of the undertakings, Domestic & General Services and Yoogalu will engage with retailers to revise extended warranty brochures to include additional information to assist consumers in comparing the features of the extended warranty being sold with the existing remedies available under the ACL and provide ACL compliance training to staff.

They’ll also develop and implement a program for monitoring retailers’ extended warranty selling practices.

“The actions required by these undertakings will improve selling practices in the industry and provide greater transparency into what consumers are being told by retailers when they are offered extended warranties”, Ms Court said.

Prior to the undertaking, Yoogalu (wholly owned by Harvey Norman Holdings Limited) was involved with developing the extended warranty program sold at Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne retailers.

Meanwhile, Domestic & General Services works with brands like Miele, Asko, Whirlpool, Fisher & Paykel, Electrolux and The Good Guys.

The ACCC say this latest set of undertakings, combined with the previous undertakings made with Lumley and Virginia Surety Companic Inc will ensure all major Australian retailers offering extended warranties will receive compliance training and have their selling practices monitored in the future.

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