ACCC takes carpet cleaning company to court alleging misleading GST advertising

22 August 2000

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against A Whistle and Co (1979) Pty Ltd, trading as Electrodry Carpet Dry Cleaning, alleging misrepresentations and false and misleading conduct under the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The allegations concern a brochure distributed by Electrodry in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The brochure displayed the GST-exclusive component of the price in very large, prominent print with the total price including GST in substantially smaller print.

The ACCC alleges that this brochure is likely to mislead consumers as to the total price payable for Electrodry Carpet Dry Cleaning services.

On Friday, 18 August 2000, the ACCC obtained an interim injunction restraining Electrodry from further distribution of the brochure, pending further orders from the Court. This injunction was extended by the Court at a directions hearing today.

The ACCC is seeking court orders including:

  • declarations that Electrodry has breached the relevant provisions of the Trade Practices Act
  • injunctions preventing Electrodry from engaging in similar conduct in the future
  • corrective advertising; and
  • an injunction directing that Electrodry conduct a trade practices compliance program designed to prevent repetition of this conduct or similar conduct.

A further directions hearing for the matter is listed for 16 October 2000 at the Federal Court in Melbourne.

Consumers who have concerns about advertising being misleading should contact the ACCC Price Line - 1300 302 502.

Release number: 
MR 229/00
ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

Media enquiries: 
Ms Lin Enright - (02) 6243 1108