Tiny Tots Images Photography Pty Ltd (Tiny Tots) has given the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission a court enforceable undertaking after breaching the Australian Consumer Law in the provision of photographic services.
Since at least January 2011, Tiny Tots had entered into approximately 1,400 unsolicited consumer agreements for photographic services with customers across Australia. These services were mainly provided to customers living in remote and rural locations, including Indigenous communities, via ‘pop up shops’.
Consumers were misled when they were told that they had no cooling off rights when they did. They were also not informed about how they could terminate the agreement nor provided with required contact details for the company.
“It is particularly concerning to the ACCC that a significant number of Tiny Tot’s customers were from remote Indigenous communities. The right to cancel unsolicited contracts during a cooling off period is a fundamental protection for consumers under the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC NT Regional Director Derek Farrell said.
“Companies who engage in unsolicited selling in remote areas should be crystal clear that the law applies to them and will be enforced if it is breached.”
As part of the court enforceable undertaking, Tiny Tots has agreed to:
- Write and offer the option of refunds to customers residing in remote and rural communities who were provided with photographic services and are currently still making payments under the agreement but have not yet received the photographs; and
- Establish and implement a Trade Practices Compliance Program for directors and staff designed to minimise Tiny Tot’s risk of future breaches and includes cross-cultural training for staff when providing services to Indigenous customers
Tiny Tots has admitted in its undertaking to the ACCC that the agreement documents used in the provision of their photographic services contravened the unsolicited consumer agreement laws and have agreed to ensure that in the future the agreement documents comply with the requirements under the Australian Consumer Law.
The undertaking is available on the public register.