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E-commerce

OzSale fined by ACCC

Ozsale has paid a penalty of $10,800 after being fined by the ACCC following an investigation into the online retailer’s consumer guarantees policies and practices.

Ozsale operates flash sales websites including Ozsale.com.au, OO.com.au, DealsDirect.com.au, TopBuy.com.au and BuyInvite.com.au.

The consumer watchdog took issue with a statement in Ozsale’s terms and conditions concerning consumers’ rights to remedies for faulty goods which read: “Depending on the fault, you may be offered the choice of refund, repair or replacement of the item (subject to availability).”

The ACCC was concerned that statement represented that the choice of remedies was at the discretion of Ozsale, when that is not the case.

“The Australian Consumer Law states that when there is major failure of a product, consumers are entitled to choose between a refund, repair or replacement, as well as compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage,” said Delia Rickard, deputy chair, ACCC.

“Businesses must not mislead consumers about their right to choose the way an issue is fixed when an item they buy has a major failure. The consumer guarantees regime means consumers have rights that businesses cannot exclude, restrict or otherwise modify.”

“This is another strong reminder for all businesses to review the representations they make about their terms and conditions relating to faulty products to ensure that they do not contravene the Australian Consumer Law,” Rickard said.

The ACCC has also accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Ozsale, in which Ozsale has accepted that its terms and conditions displayed on its website were likely to give rise to concerns under the Australian Consumer Law.

As part of the court enforceable undertaking provided to the ACCC, Ozsale has agreed to:

  • Publish a single refunds and remedies policy to be used across all online sales platforms operated by Ozsale that accurately reflects consumers’ ACL rights,
  • Implement a compliance program, including training and a complaints handling procedure, and,
  • Implement a mystery shopper program to provide ongoing monitoring of representations made by customer service staff when dealing with ACL issues.

The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the ACL. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.

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