ACCC takes action against Harvey Norman franchisees

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ACCC takes action against Harvey Norman franchisees

Nine Harvey Norman franchisees are being taken to court by the ACCC for misrepresenting consumer rights.

The action is a recommencement of an earlier action taken by the ACCC in November last year. At that time, the ACCC issued proceedings against 11 franchisees (one has since deregistered as a company). However the federal court indicated each item was unrelated, and should be heard separately.

The ACCC has now instituted separate actions against the franchisees. The alleged misrepresentation of consumer rights against each franchisee differs. Examples of the alleged misrepresentation include the franchisee telling consumers they had to pay a fee for the return of faulty products; that the franchisee had no obligation to provide remedies for goods still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty; and that the franchisee had no obligation to provide remedies for faulty goods unless notified within a designated period of time.

“It is important for these matters to be considered by the court. The ACCC will continue to take enforcement action where it believes that retailers or manufacturers have misled consumers about their rights under the consumer guarantee provisions of the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, in a statement.

“Consumers have rights to certain remedies from retailers and manufacturers when goods fail to comply with the consumer guarantee provisions, including that goods are of acceptable quality and fit for the purpose for which they were sold.”

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