Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Online sporting goods retailer Wiggle Limited (Wiggle) has paid a $12,600 penalty after admitting its customer service staff likely misled Australians about their rights to remedies for faulty products.
Wiggle has also provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC admitting it likely breached the Australian Consumer Law.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund when there has been a major problem with the product. This law applies to all businesses that sell products to consumers in Australia, including overseas based businesses,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
Wiggle’s customer service staff told some Australian customers who were trying to obtain a refund for faulty products that:
- Wiggle was not subject to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) as it is based in the United Kingdom (UK)
- the consumer needed to contact the manufacturer
- Wiggle would not provide a full refund for a faulty product as the product had been used.
“It does not matter that Wiggle is based overseas or that the consumers had used the goods, the Australian Consumer Law still applies to faulty products,” Ms Rickard said.
“Statements by retailers which seek to limit or exclude the Australian consumer guarantees are misleading and likely to contravene the Australian Consumer Law.”
“It’s also misleading for a retailer to tell the customer they must go to the manufacturer for a remedy when a product is faulty. Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to remedies from the business that sells them a faulty product,” Ms Rickard said.
Wiggle’s website also contained misleading information that only English and UK law applied to transactions made through the website. Wiggle has since amended this section of its website so it now accurately reflects Australian customers’ rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
In its court enforceable undertaking, Wiggle has agreed to implement an ACL compliance policy, and train its customer service staff in ACL compliance.
The undertaking signed by Wiggle is available at: Wiggle Limited – Section 87B.
Wiggle is based in the UK but sells sporting goods to customers worldwide, including to Australians through the wiggle.com.au website.
More information about consumer guarantee rights are available at the ACCC’s website.