Outdoor Supacentre Pty Ltd, trading as 4WD Supacentre, has paid $63,000 in penalties after the ACCC issued it with five infringement notices for allegedly misleading consumers about ‘was/now’ price comparisons advertised on its website.
The ACCC has also accepted a court-enforceable undertaking in which 4WD Supacentre has committed to not engage in similar conduct.
Between December 2018 and January 2019, 4WD Supacentre advertised some of its highest selling products with a high ‘was’ price and a low ‘now’ price. This was despite the products not being advertised or sold by 4WD Supacentre at the ‘was’ price at any time during the previous three months.
For example, 4WD Supacentre advertised a camp oven with a ‘was’ price of $279 and a ‘now’ price of $84, representing an apparent saving of $195. In fact, the camp oven had not been advertised at a price higher than $104 for the three month period beforehand.
“We were very concerned that this was misleading consumers into thinking they could achieve significant savings with 4WD Supacentre, when this was not necessarily the case,” ACCC Acting Chair Mick Keogh said.
“Businesses must tell the truth when advertising “discounted” prices, and must not fabricate increased savings.”
“All businesses should ensure they provide consumers with accurate price information, enabling informed choices by consumers based on potential savings and an even playing field for competing businesses which are doing the right thing,” Mr Keogh said.
Under the terms of the court-enforceable undertaking, 4WD Supacentre will also publish corrective advertising and receive training in the Australian Consumer Law.
4WD Supacentre’s undertaking can be found on the ACCC’s website: Outdoor Supacentre Pty Ltd.
4WD Supacentre is a retailer of four-wheel drive vehicle and camping accessories. It sells products online, in company stores, and to dealers.
Notes to editor
Further information on two-price comparison advertising is available at Advertising and selling guide: two-price comparison advertising.
The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.
The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person or business has contravened certain consumer protection laws.