The Australian competition watchdog has taken action against electronics and IT retailer, MSY Technology, alleging that the company has misrepresented consumers’ rights in relation to faulty products.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed on December 1 that it had instituted legal proceedings in the Federal Court against MSY Technology and its associated entities, which resell products from several vendors, including Asus, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Huawei.
According to the ACCC, MSY Technology entities operate 28 retail stores across Australia, and an online site which sells computers, computer parts, accessories, and electronic goods.
The ACCC alleges that between January 2013 and February 2016, statements made by MSY Technology and its associated entities, including SY Group and the MSY Technology website, and similar representations made in store by its employees to some consumers misrepresented consumer rights.
The competition watchdog alleges that the company claimed it had discretion over whether a customer was entitled to a remedy for a faulty product, and that it was up to MSY Technology to choose which remedy it would provide customers.
Additionally, the company allegedly claimed that it would only provide a remedy for products returned within seven days.
The ACCC also says that MSY Technology told customers that it may require them to pay an administration fee to receive a remedy for a faulty product that is out of warranty, and that it would provide no remedies in relation to faulty software products.
“The ACCC alleges that MSY Technology breached the Australian Consumer Law by misrepresenting consumers’ rights to a repair, replacement, or a refund when they have purchased faulty products,” ACCC commissioner, Sarah Court, said.
“Businesses must not mislead consumers about their consumer guarantee rights. Consumers who have purchased a faulty product have a right under the consumer guarantees to remedies which businesses cannot restrict, alter, or remove.
“The ACCC is particularly concerned that this type of conduct by businesses which have a national presence has the potential to cause significant consumer harm,” she said.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, a comprehensive compliance program, penalties, and costs.
This is not the first time MSY Technology has come under the scrutiny of the ACCC, with a number of the company's entities being penalised to the tune of $203,500 in 2011 for false and misleading consumer warranty representations, following action by the ACCC.