ACCC takes action against MSY alleging misrepresentation of consumer guarantees

1 December 2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against MSY Technology Pty Ltd, MSY Group Pty Ltd, and M.S.Y. Technology (NSW) Pty Ltd (MSY Technology) alleging that MSY Technology has misrepresented consumers’ rights to remedies for faulty products.

MSY Technology entities operate 28 retail stores across Australia and an online site which sells computers, computer parts, accessories, and electronic goods.

The ACCC alleges that between January 2013 and February 2016, statements made by MSY Technology Pty Ltd and/or MSY Group Pty Ltd on the MSY Technology website, and similar representations made in store to some consumers in New South Wales and Victoria by employees of MSY Technology Pty Ltd and M.S.Y. Technology (NSW) Pty Ltd, misrepresented consumer rights by claiming that:

  • MSY Technology had discretion over whether a customer was entitled to a remedy for a faulty product
  • It was up to MSY Technology to choose which remedy it would provide customers
  • MSY Technology would only provide a remedy for products returned within seven days
  • MSY Technology may require the customer to pay an administration fee to receive a remedy for a faulty product that is out of warranty
  • MSY Technology would provide no remedies in relation to faulty software products.

“The ACCC alleges that MSY Technology breached the Australian Consumer Law by misrepresenting consumers’ rights to a repair, replacement, or a refund when they have purchased faulty products,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said. 

“Businesses must not mislead consumers about their consumer guarantee rights. Consumers who have purchased a faulty product have a right under the consumer guarantees to remedies which businesses cannot restrict, alter, or remove.”

“The ACCC is particularly concerned that this type of conduct by businesses which have a national presence has the potential to cause significant consumer harm,” Ms Court said.

The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, a comprehensive compliance program, penalties, and costs. 

Background

In 2011, a number of MSY Technology entities were penalised $203,500 for false and misleading consumer warranty representations, following action by the ACCC.

Consumer guarantees apply to all purchases and cannot be removed or reduced by a business’s terms and conditions. Where a good develops a major failure, consumers have a right to a replacement or refund from the supplier of the good. For goods that develop a minor failure, a consumer has a right to have the good remedied (at the suppliers discretion) within a reasonable time. If the supplier doesn’t do so, the consumer can either reject the goods and get a refund or have the problem fixed and recover reasonable costs of doing so from the supplier.

To find out more about consumer guarantee rights, please visit ACCC's page on consumer rights & guarantees.

Release number: 
MR 225/16
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