Kogan Fined $350k Over Dodgy Tax Time “Discounts”
The Federal Court has slugged Kogan with a $350,000 fine for misleading consumers with fake discounts in a 2018 “Tax Time” sale.
The ACCC took Kogan to court over the promotion, which saw the online retailer mark up prices on 621 items by at least 10 per cent, then turn around and offer a 10 per cent “TAXTIME” discount code. Customers were also bombarded with emails warning them time was running out on the promotion near the end, creating a sense of urgency.
According to ACCC chair Rod Sims, Kogan decreased the prices on many of these items back to their previous levels after the promotion was over.
“In many cases, consumers who used the promotional code to purchase these products paid the same as, or more than, they would have paid before or after the promotion.
“Consumers were not receiving a genuine 10 per cent discount as promised, and this affected high-value products such as Apple MacBooks, cameras and Samsung Galaxy mobile handsets,” he said.
In her judgment, Federal Court Justice Davies said Kogan’s conduct must be viewed as serious.
“Misrepresentations about discounts offered on products not only harm purchasers acquiring such products on the basis that they are getting a genuine discount but also may impact on consumer confidence in discount promotions when legitimately made – that is, when products are being offered for sale with a genuine discount on price,” she said.
Sims has hailed the decision as a win for the consumer watchdog, which will also recoup its costs for the case as Kogan has been ordered to pay them.
“This decision sends a strong signal to businesses like Kogan, which regularly conduct online sales promotions, that they must not entice consumers to purchase products with a promise of discounts that are not genuine,” he said.
This is not the first time Kogan has been slapped down by the ACCC over misleading promotions, with the retailer copping a $32,400 penalty over similar conduct – raising and then discounting prices in a Father’s Day sale – in 2016.