An investigation into Zamel's Pty Ltd's Christmas 2005 catalogue by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has led the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute prosecution proceedings today against the jewellery retailer.
Zamel's, a family owned retail jeweller, distributed 2.6 million of the catalogues in South Australia, the ACT, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania.
The ACCC alleges that in respect of 11 jewellery items taken from the catalogue, Zamel's falsely represented that the purchase of the items would result in a saving to the purchaser of the difference between a strikethrough price and a lower sale price or that Zamel's had sold the items at the strikethrough price for a reasonable period prior to the sale.
For example, the catalogue featured a 10.5mm bolt ring bracelet at a price of $745 with a strikethrough price of $1,675. The ACCC alleges that Zamel's did not sell the bracelet for more than $1,100 within the six months prior to the sale.
It is alleged that Zamel's has engaged in conduct in breach of section 75AZC(1)(g) of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which prohibits false or misleading representations being made in relation to the price of goods.
Zamel's ceased using this style of advertising once the ACCC drew its concerns to the company's attention.
A direction hearing for this matter is listed for Justice Mansfield on 17 January 2007 in the Federal Court, Adelaide.
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