Although make some The best laptops Money can be bought, Dell has been set for a federal court date with the Australian consumer watchdog ACCC, following allegations that the tech company’s Australian online store made “false or misleading claims regarding the price of the monitors”.
inside statement (Opens in a new tab), the ACCC claims that between August 2019 and December 2021, Dell aimed to induce consumers to add screens to purchase a computer “by offering false or misleading discounts”. According to the alleged results of censorship, the prices of monitors as an add-on were often more expensive than if the monitor was purchased separately.
Dell’s online store in Australia suffers from the usual retail price, and the ACCC claims that these strikethrough prices were often inflated to make consumers think the savings were greater than they really were. Deal tags such as “total savings” and “discounted price” are among those that the consumer watchdog claims Dell Australia has used to mislead its customers in an attempt to encourage them to add a monitor to the computer they purchased.
“Cases involving allegations of misinformation” were/now “pricing by large retailers of consumer goods is a priority for the Anti-Corruption Commission,” said watchdog commissioner Liz Carver. “Businesses must be aware of their legal requirements and must have effective compliance programs in place to prevent this kind of harm to consumers.”
The panel also added that alleged consumer misinformation that occurred during periods of Covid lockdowns was of particular concern, as parents of school children forced into home learning were increasingly looking to PCs and PC-related technology out of necessity and thus more likely to be misled.
“While the total number of misled consumers is unknown, we believe several thousand consumers were sold on an additional screen that was advertised with an exaggerated discount application representation,” Carver added.
Will other countries catch up with Australia’s crackdown on consumer rights?
Australia’s Dell storefront may be the latest retailer to go against the Australian consumer watchdog as a result of alleged consumer misleading, but it’s not the first. In August, Google found itself in trouble when the Australian Federal Court ordered it to pay A$60 million in fines after the allegations (Opens in a new tab) “Make misleading representations to consumers about the collection and use of their personal location data on Android phones between January 2017 and December 2018.”
Google’s big payments followed a similar finding against Samsung Australia in June, which was ordered to pay A$14 million after the South Korean tech giant. He confessed To mislead consumers about the water resistance of some Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
And of course late OctoberGoogle-owned smartwatch maker Fitbit was the company that ran afoul of the Australian watchdog after allegations that it was misleading consumers about refund and exchange rights for Fitbit products.
The ACCC’s willingness to act on behalf of consumer rights and to draw a line in the sand in attempts to mislead Aussies is a welcome favour, especially now when the cost of living continues to rise and purchases are eating up everyone’s budgets.
ACCC’s actions are also useful examples of countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, where the powers of the relevant consumer watchdogs are remarkably (Opens in a new tab) Less effective and not encouraged to act with proportionate force as a result of various routine barriers. As one example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States in late October (Opens in a new tab) announced plans to I recommend Strict action against retailers who post false or misleading reviews or suppress negative consumer reviews. Engaging in the practice of posting fake reviews and suppressing negative reviews is already illegal in the United States but not much has happened. “We are exploring whether a rule that would result in tough civil penalties for violators would make the marketplace more fair for honest consumers and businesses,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Office of Consumer Protection.
In our view, the conclusion that can be drawn is that some retailers openly wish to mock existing regulations and laws in an attempt to mislead consumers and appear unafraid of facing real consequences. It is hoped that the lessons of Australia’s new crackdown will begin to work their way abroad.
For retailers, the importance of transparency and fair practice in dealing with consumers is invaluable to consumers in the best of times, but becomes even more urgent in times of financial crisis like now.