Harvey Norman franchisees in trouble with ACCC

Allegations include misleading consumers on warranty rights and returning damaged goods

The ACCC has begun legal proceedings against 11 Harvey Norman franchisees for allegedly misrepresenting consumer rights.

The consumer watchdog alleges franchisees engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct through making false or misleading representations to consumers about their rights under the consumer guarantee provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The ACCC alleges franchisees weren’t obliged to provide remedies for damaged goods unless notified within a specific timeline such as 24 hours or 14 days; it had no obligation to provide remedies for goods still covered by the manufacturer’s warranties or provide refunds or replacements for particular items such as large appliances or items priced below a certain amount. Consumers also had to pay a fee for the repair and return of faulty products.

“The Australian Consumer Law provides consumers with 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,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said in a statement.

“These rights cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.”

The franchisees involved include Harvey Norman in Albany, Western Australia; Bundall, Queensland; Campbelltown, NSW; Gordon, NSW; Hoppers Crossing, Victoria; Ispwich, Queensland; Launceston, Tasmania; Mandurah, Western Australia; Moonah, Tasmania; Oxley, Queensland and Sale, Victoria.

The matter is set down for a directions hearing in the Federal Court on December 19.

A number of investigations are also underway into other large manufacturers and retailers for alleged misrepresentations of consumer guarantee rights in breach of the ACL.

In October, ACCC issued proceedings against HP in the Federal Court in Sydney for alleged contraventions of the ACL.

Earlier this year the watchdog embarked on a national consumer guarantees awareness raising campaign, ‘If it’s not right, use your rights. Repair, replace, refund.’

CHANNEL CHOICE: Vote Now for your favourite in the three categories: Vendor, Distributor and Reseller. Voting closes August 8.

Tags HPAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)Harvey Norman

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1 Comment

Rob

1

And where does the buck stop, once again, the man right at the top. When will he ever learn to get it right, he knows as well as all his team under him on what is right and wrong and to give proper training to each and everyone of his franchised stores. What is even worse, it was not just one isolated store either.

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