Fisher & Paykel In Hot Water Over Warranties
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has filed Federal Court proceedings against Fisher & Paykel for allegedly misleading consumers about their (statutory) warranty rights.
The watchdog alleges Fisher & Paykel sent “misleading” letters to consumers who purchased an appliance, inviting them to purchase an extended warranty. The letters are believed to have indicated consumers would not be protected against repair costs after the warranty expiry, unless an extended warranty was purchased.
The ACCC alleges that the conduct of breached sections 18 and 29 of consumer law and is seeking pecuniary costs, injunctions, orders for compliance programs, against F&P, now owned by appliance giant, Haier.
The consumer watchdog alleges the extended warranty offered may constitute a financial product and thus, the appliance company were offering financial services.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said “this is an important case” as the allegations involve false or misleading representations by businesses about consumers’ statutory rights in offering extended warranties.
“Shoppers should realise that under the Australian Consumer Law they may have a right to a repair, replace or refund beyond the time period covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
“While some extended warranties may offer protection over and above that provided by the ACL, they do not replace the underlying consumer guarantees”, Sims said.