Eleven Harvey Norman franchisees will face legal action for allegedly ripping off customers on warranties and repairs.
The ACCC today announced it had taken the stores to court for what it called misleading and deceptive conduct.
It said the Harvey Norman franchisees had told customers they had no obligation to fix damaged goods outside of their nominated return period, had refused to service goods covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, wouldn't refund or return particular items such as large appliances or low-cost products, and told customers a fee was required for faulty product repairs and returns.
It said consumer rights under Australian Consumer Law, for the remedying of faulty goods or products that fail to comply with guarantees, can't be modified.
The eleven targeted stores are scattered throughout Australia, located in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. A directions hearing will take place on the 19th December.
The consumer watchdog said the case forms part of its national consumer guarantees awareness campaign, launched earlier this year, which has also shone the spotlight on technology vendor and Harvey Norman partner HP.
HP similarly earned the ACCC’s wrath for allegedly deceiving customers over faulty warranties and products. The vendor allegedly told customers they could not get replacements for products until they had been repaired multiple times, and also told customers returns would only be provided at HP’s discretion.
According to the ACCC, HP also advised customers the warranty period for its products were limited to an “express” period, and asked for a fee for any repairs or replacements for faulty products after that period.
That case will be heard in Sydney's Federal Court on December 7. The ACCC said it has received over 16,000 complaints from consumers regarding product guarantees this year.
List of franchises at issue:
Copyright © CRN Australia. All rights reserved.
Issue: 331 | September 2014
Access CRN's extensive online resources including; email bulletins, community discussions and unique online news.
Processing registration... Please wait.
This process can take up to a minute to complete.
A confirmation email has been sent to your email address - SUPPLIED GOES EMAIL HERE. Please click on the link in the email to verify your email address. You need to verify your email before you can log on to the CRN website or start posting comments on articles.
If you do not receive your confirmation email within the next few minutes, it may be because the email has been captured by a junk mail filter. Please ensure you add the domain '@crn.com.au' to your white-listed senders.