Online clothing label and retailer A&S Labels Pty Ltd (trading as Tiger Mist) has paid penalties of $26,640 after the ACCC issued it with two infringement notices for allegedly misleading consumers about their right to return faulty items.
Tiger Mist made statements on its website between at least November 2021 and February 2022 that consumers could only return a faulty item by contacting Tiger Mist within 30 days of receiving their order and that the product must be returned in its original packaging. The two infringement notices were issued in relation to statements made on the Returns page of the Tiger Mist website on 21 February 2022.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, a consumer’s right to a remedy for a faulty product is not limited to a specific time period, and consumers do not need to return the faulty product in its original packaging to obtain a refund, replacement or repair,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.
Tiger Mist typically markets to younger consumers through social media posts.
“The ACCC was concerned that Tiger Mist’s representations may have misled some consumers into thinking they were not entitled to return a faulty product when that was not the case,” Ms Carver said.
The first statement on the Returns page of the Tiger Mist website was:
“If you believe an item you’ve purchased from us is faulty, incorrect or you’re missing an item, contact us at email@example.com with images of the fault. All claims need to be made within 30 days of receiving your order.”
The second statement was:
“RETURNS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED WHEN:
- Items are in their original condition.
- Items are in their original packaging.
- Tags remain attached to garments.
- Garments are unworn, unwashed and unstained.”
“Consumers have the same rights whether they make a purchase online or instore. All businesses must ensure their refund and returns policy does not misrepresent the consumer guarantee rights under the Australia Consumer Law, and we will continue to look at the practices of clothing retailers, including online retailers, and take enforcement action where appropriate,” Ms Carver said.
Consumers can also learn more about their rights to repair, replacement or refund, and their consumer guarantee rights on the ACCC website.
Tiger Mist has amended its website and removed the statements to address the ACCC’s concerns.
Tiger Mist is an international online clothing label and retailer, aimed predominantly at young consumers and promoting its products through social media, based in Melbourne.
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