Netgear will provide refunds and compensation to customers misled by warranty and technical support representations, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has confirmed.
The consumer watchdog said Netgear incorrectly told customers they could not receive a remedy for a faulty product unless it was covered by the vendor’s own manufacturer's warranty or if they purchased a technical support contract.
ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said Netgear admitted that it likely misled customers about remedies that they were legally entitled to under Australian Consumer Law.
“If a product fails to meet a consumer guarantee, consumers have the right to ask the supplier for a repair, replacement or refund, and the supplier or manufacturer for compensation,” she said.
“Consumer law rights cannot be excluded, restricted or modified. Warranties and technical support contracts operate in addition to consumer guarantees, not instead of these statutory guarantees.”
The router and networking hardware manufacturer said that it will take several steps in light of the action by the ACCC, including reviewing all technical support contracts purchased between July 2016 and the date of the undertaking, and provide a full refund as well as a remedy in cases where a Netgear product failed that would have been covered by consumer law.
Netgear will also establish an Australian consumer rights webpage on its website within one month and establish a consumer hotline for Australian customers to seek remedies to insufficiently addressed complaints. Wording around warranties on the vendor’s product packaging will also get an update to comply with consumer law.