Friday, 02 December 2016 03:04

ACCC takes MSY Technology to court over consumer rights misrepresentation Featured

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken court action against computers and electronic goods retailer MSY Technology over allegations the company has misrepresented consumers’ rights to remedies for faulty products.

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against MSY which has entities operating 28 retail stores across Australia and an online site which sells computers, computer parts, accessories, and electronic goods.

It is not the first time MSY has run afoul of the ACCC. The ACCC took action against MSY in 2011, when a number of MSY Technology entities were penalised $203,500 for false and misleading consumer warranty representations.

In the latest court action, announced on Thursday, the ACCC alleges that MSY Technology breached Australian Consumer Law by misrepresenting consumers’ rights to repair, replacement, or a refund when they have purchased faulty products.

It also alleges that between January 2013 and February 2016, statements made by MSY Technology Pty Ltd and/or MSY Group Pty Ltd on the MSY Technology website, and similar representations made in store to some consumers in New South Wales and Victoria by employees of MSY, misrepresented consumer rights by claiming that:

•    MSY Technology had discretion over whether a customer was entitled to a remedy for a faulty product;

•    It was up to MSY Technology to choose which remedy it would provide customers;

•    MSY Technology would only provide a remedy for products returned within seven days;

•    MSY Technology may require the customer to pay an administration fee to receive a remedy for a faulty product that is out of warranty; and

•    MSY Technology would provide no remedies in relation to faulty software products.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said, “Businesses must not mislead consumers about their consumer guarantee rights. Consumers who have purchased a faulty product have a right under the consumer guarantees to remedies which businesses cannot restrict, alter, or remove.

“The ACCC is particularly concerned that this type of conduct by businesses which have a national presence has the potential to cause significant consumer harm.”

The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, a comprehensive compliance programme, penalties, and costs against MSY.

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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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