The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken Fuji Xerox to court over alleged unfair terms in its small business contracts.
The ACCC alleges that in nine of Fuji Xerox’s standard form small business contracts has a total of 173 unfair contract terms.
Some of the alleged unfair terms include automatic renewal terms, excessive exit fees and unilateral prices increases, all of which have been used in contracts since at least October 2018.
ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said, “We have received a number of complaints from small businesses alleging that some of the terms in Fuji’s contracts have caused them significant financial harm.”
“Some of the unilateral variation terms allow Fuji to modify contracts by creating new rights and obligations, including increasing prices, without notifying its customers and without giving them any corresponding right to negotiate or reject.”
Keogh added the ACCC will argue in court that the terms “cause a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations” of Fuji Xerox and the small businesses they contract with.
“This court action by the ACCC should prompt all other traders in the printing support industry to review their standard form contracts and make any necessary changes to remove unfair contract terms," he said.
The ACCC is seeking declarations that the terms are unfair and void, as well as an injunction to prevent Fuji Xerox from relying on these terms in its current contracts or entering into future contracts that contain those terms.
The agency is also seeking an order for a corrective notice, a compliance program and costs.