Big Warehouse has also provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC admitting it was likely to have contravened the ACL by representing to consumers that:
• spare parts were available for dispatch, when in fact they needed to be ordered from the manufacturer
• spare parts were compatible with the model of electrical appliance purchased by the consumer, when this was not the case
• the consumer was not entitled to a full refund or replacement where:
o a spare part ordered was not supplied within a reasonable time after payment was made
o a spare part was not compatible with the electrical appliance set out in the consumer’s order; or
o a spare part was damaged during delivery and the consumer had not purchased insurance from Big Warehouse.
“According to some complaints, consumers were incorrectly charged for a replacement part in circumstances where they shouldn’t have been. Such charges included a 30 per cent restocking fee to purchase the correct part.
“If a consumer buys a spare part and is provided the incorrect part or it is damaged on arrival, they are entitled under the Australian Consumer Law to choose a full refund or replacement.”
Under the terms of the enforceable undertaking given to the ACCC, Big Warehouse will provide compensation to certain customers who ordered spare parts and subsequently requested a full refund or replacement.