The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued proceedings in the Federal Court against Mr Dhruv Chopra, the operator of the online electronics store www.electronicbazaar.com.au (Electronic Bazaar) for alleged breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
The ACCC alleges that Mr Chopra made false or misleading representations about the availability of consumer refund rights and the extent of Electronic Bazaar’s liability for faulty goods.
The alleged representations include statements to the effect that consumers who purchased goods through the Electronic Bazaar website were not entitled to a refund for goods which were no longer under an express warranty; or where the goods had been used or not in original condition or packaging; or unless the goods were faulty on arrival; or unless a claim was made within a specified time period.
It is also alleged that Mr Chopra made false or misleading representations that consumers’ refund rights were against a company called “Unreal Technologies Private Limited” or “Unreal Technology Private Limited”, when neither of those companies existed.
“Consumer issues in the online marketplace are an ACCC priority. The ACCC has a particular focus on representations about consumer’s rights when they are buying products or seeking refunds,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“Consumers are entitled to receive a refund, repair or replacement including when the goods purchased are faulty or do not match their description. Traders cannot impose terms and conditions that exclude or waive these consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law.”
The ACCC also alleges that Mr Chopra wrongly accepted payment on four separate occasions by not supplying goods within the specified time or, where no time was specified, within a reasonable time.
The ACCC is seeking interim injunctions against Mr Chopra to restrain Mr Chopra from continuing to engage in the alleged conduct.
The ACCC is also seeking pecuniary penalties, declarations that Mr Chopra contravened the ACL, final injunctions and costs.
The matter has been filed in the Federal Court’s Fast Track List and is listed for an interlocutory hearing in Melbourne on 16 December 2014 at 2:15pm before Justice Gordon.
For more information, see: Consumer guarantees - a guide for consumers.