Monday, 18 January 2016 12:57

Kogan coughs up $32,400 in penalties over Fathers’ Day promotion breach

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Online discount retailer Kogan has paid out $32,400 in penalties after the competition consumer watchdog, the ACCC, found it had made false or misleading representations in a Fathers’ Day promotion about the price of three computer monitors.

As part of the 2015 Fathers’ Day promotion, Kogan advertised on its eBay store that consumers would receive a 20% discount on the computer monitors if they were purchased between 24th and 29th August 2015.

The monitors were the Kogan 27” Cinema Display WQHD, Kogan 28” 4k LED Monitor and Asus 27” LED Monitor PB278Q.

The ACCC’s investigation found that before or at the start of the promotion, Kogan increased the prices of the three computer monitors featured on its eBay store and, as a result, although consumers received a 20% discount off the newly increased prices, they in fact only received a 9% discount off the previously advertised prices for each of the three computer monitors.

Shortly after the promotion ended and the 20% discount offer ceased, the advertised prices of the three computer monitors returned to the lower prices offered on Kogan’s eBay store before the promotion commenced.

“It is simply unacceptable for businesses to raise prices before applying a discount in order to give consumers the misleading impression that they are obtaining a larger percentage discount than is actually the case," ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“Truth in advertising and consumer issues in the online market place are both current enforcement priorities.”

Dr Schaper said the payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australia Consumer Law, but the ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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