Friday, 20 December 2019 12:31

Bachcare complains about ‘inaccuracies’ in Commerce Commission’s comments on online reviews Featured

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New Zealand holiday rental management and accommodation company Bachcare says there are “inaccuracies” in the country’s competition regulator The Commerce Commission’s statement about online reviews in which the Commission said that Bachcare had misled consumers. 

In its own statement Bachcare says the Commission’s statement issued by press release is incorrect when it says that Bachcare “misled consumers”, and has requested that the Commission correct the statement.

Bachcare was responding to the report by the Commission that Bachcare had been fined $117,000 by a court in Auckland for misleading consumers by altering and withholding publication of online reviews posted by users of its accommodation services.

“The court ruling states that Bachcare’s actions were liable to mislead, so the Commerce Commission’s release dated 20 December 2019 is incorrect when it says that Bachcare “misled consumers”. There is in fact no evidence that Bachcare has misled consumers,” Bachcare said.

“Bachcare respects and accepts the court’s ruling and sentencing. We have fully cooperated with the Commerce Commission throughout its 21-month investigation and have met every request. The charges and subsequent sentencing fine relate solely to a historic set of actions which we unreservedly apologised for.”

In its response Bachcare also said it has “created a customer review policy, which is displayed on our website”.

“It makes clear that all previous reviews and ratings were removed in October 2018 and specifies that all current reviews and ratings on the site are consistent with the policy.

“The policy is working extremely well, and we have had no customer complaints or issues in the past 18 months. The Commerce Commission supported the actions we took with regards to remedying past reviews.”

Bachcare said it had “taken the learnings from this experience and will continue to apply it to all process and system developments in the future”.

“We commit to always operate with integrity and professionalism and will strive to maintain the trust and confidence of our loyal and valued customers. We encourage other businesses operating an online customer review system, to have a clear review policy in place that is well understood by staff and publicly available on your website to avoid misunderstanding.”

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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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