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Booktopia misled consumers on refunds for damaged, faulty items: ACCC

Booktopia is being taken to Federal Court after an ACCC investigation found it had misled consumers about their rights in the event of receiving faulty or damaged goods.

According to the ACCC, between January 10, 2020 and November 2, 2021, the business allegedly said customers had two days to notify the business of faulty, damaged or incorrect products from the time of delivery, and would make no effort to offer returns on digital content purchase.

These stipulations fly in the face of Australian Consumer Law, argued ACCC chair Rod Sims.

“Consumers who buy digital products or buy products online have the same rights as those who shop in physical stores,” said Sims.

“Australian consumers have a right to refund, repair or replacement for goods that do not meet their consumer guarantee rights which apply for a reasonable period, and no business can exclude, limit or modify those rights.”

The investigation occurred after a number of customers complained about the practice, some of who were denied a refund under Booktopia’s specified terms.

Booktopia said in a statement to its shareholders it takes its responsibilities under Australian Consumer Law very seriously, and that it had included the terms “to ensure that we could confidently provide replacements, refunds and other remedies to customers.”

“We always encourage customers to contact us so that we can resolve their concerns. At no time were these communications intended to exclude or limit Booktopia’s obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.”

The ACCC is seeking penalties, declarations, costs and “other orders“.

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