Lululemon Athletica Australia Pty Ltd (Lululemon) has paid penalties totalling $32,400 following the ACCC issuing three infringement notices for alleged false or misleading representations about consumer guarantee rights.
First, from 1 May 2017 to 24 May 2017, Lululemon listed sale items on its website under the heading “We Made Too Much”. The web page read “We made a little extra – don’t be shy, help yourself. It’s yours for keeps so no returns and no exchanges”.
The ACCC alleges that, by this statement, Lululemon represented that consumers were not entitled to return and obtain a refund for, or exchange, these products under any circumstances.
Second, Lululemon’s return policy published on its website stated: “Final sale items like underwear, water bottles + We Made Too Much gear are yours for keeps”.
It is alleged that, by this statement, Lululemon represented that consumers were not entitled to a remedy for these products under any circumstances.
Finally, in November 2016, a customer contacted Lululemon requesting a refund for products she considered were faulty but received an email from a Lululemon representative that said “We do not offer refunds for quality affected garments”.
The ACCC considers that this statement represented that the consumer was not entitled to a refund if the products were faulty.
“The ACCC alleges that Lululemon made representations to customers that they were not entitled to a refund or replacement for products under any circumstances, when that was not the case,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“If a product or service fails to meet a consumer guarantee, people are automatically entitled to a remedy under the Australian Consumer Law. If products develop a fault which constitutes a major failure, customers are entitled to a refund, even if the product was purchased on sale.”
“Businesses must ensure their refund and returns policy do not breach consumer law, and that representations they make about consumers’ rights to return goods or obtain a refund accurately reflect the consumer guarantee rights under the Australia Consumer Law,” Ms Rickard said.
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 has contravened certain consumer protection laws.
Use our Letter of Demand tool if you are having trouble exercising your consumer guarantee rights.
Further information is at https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees
Screenshots of the Lululemon website
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