​Dick Smith distributor forced to offer faulty TV refunds following store collapse

Australian watchdog forces Sydney-based distributor to refund customers for unrepairable TVs purchased from Dick Smith prior to January 5, 2016.

Sydney-based distributor Yale Prima has been forced to offer full refunds on faulty JVC TV’s to disgruntled Dick Smith customers, who purchased the “unrepairable” products before the retailer went bust.

As required by Australian Consumer Law (ACL), the company will offer full refunds to consumers under its own 12 month manufacturer’s warranty for unrepairable TVs purchased from Dick Smith prior to January 5, 2016.

The distributor - who lost over $10 million following the collapse of the retail outlet - provided this commitment following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation into consumer complaints after Dick Smith went into external administration.

For several weeks prior to the investigation, Yale Prima referred all customer enquiries back to Ferrier Hodgson as the receiver for Dick Smith, despite its own ongoing ACL obligations.

As outlined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, from 1 April 2016, Yale Prima offered a partial refund in place of the full refund promised in the manufacturer’s warranty.

“Under the ACL consumer guarantee provisions, a consumer has rights against both the retailer and the manufacturer of faulty goods,” ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, said.

“When a retail business ceases trading, it is important that consumers are able to turn to the manufacturer for remedies, and it is equally important that manufacturers recognise their ongoing ACL obligations.

“The ACCC’s investigation commenced after it and other ACL regulators received reports that consumers were unable to obtain repairs, replacements or refunds for faulty goods in the period immediately following Dick Smith Electronics entering external administration.”

According to the Australian watchdog, consumer guarantees apply for goods or services that cost under $40,000 or over $40,000 if they are normally bought for personal or household use.

For any consumer who purchased a faulty JVC branded television from Dick Smith and has not been able to resolve the issue should contact at first instance Yale Prima on (02) 9577 1700 if the television was purchased before January 5 2016; or Ferrier Hodgson on 1300 660 054 if the television was purchased after that date.