The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a Public Warning Notice about the alleged conduct of online retailer Lux International Sales ApS (a company based in Denmark that trades under the name LuxStyle). The ACCC received 127 complaints about LuxStyle since January 2017.
LuxStyle advertised its products on social media, directing potential customers to a website that did not display prices unless the consumer entered a mailing address and an email address. Consumers have complained that even though they did not proceed to order or purchase the goods and simply closed down the website window after viewing the price of the product, LuxStyle then posted the goods to consumers along with an invoice demanding payment and followed this up with subsequent invoices if consumers did not pay.
Consumers have reported that on some occasions where they did not pay, LuxStyle referred the matter to Australian-based debt collectors.
“The ACCC is very concerned that consumers are reporting that, in response to demands from LuxStyle, they have paid for goods that they did not order and do not want,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The Australian Consumer Law provides specific protection to Australian consumers. If a business sends unsolicited goods to an Australian consumer, the consumer is not required to pay for the goods, nor is the consumer required to pay to return the goods.”
“Consumers who have received goods from LuxStyle, or have been contacted by a debt collector about goods from LuxStyle, should lodge a report via the ACCC’s website at accc.gov.au,” Ms Rickard said.
The Danish Consumer Ombudsman is also conducting its own investigation into LuxStyle’s conduct, and has published information about reports from consumers in various European countries as well as Australia, New Zealand and Canada [Translation published by Consumer Protection Sweden (Konsumentverket) - http://www.konsumentverket.se/contentassets/7b9638c9b8dd497ba7e693f203a11e80/english-translation-of-press-release---25-01-2017.pdf].
The Public Warning Notice has been issued because the ACCC has reasonable grounds to suspect that LuxStyle’s conduct may constitute a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law, by asserting a right to payment for unsolicited goods. It is available at: Lux International Sales ApS
Unsolicited products or services
When you receive products or services that you have not requested, this is called an 'unsolicited supply'.
If you receive unsolicited products or services:
- you are not required to pay for the products or services
- you are not liable for any loss or damage resulting from a supply of unsolicited services
- if you contact the business in writing, expressing that you do not want the products, then the business should recover the products within one month
- if you don’t contact the business, then the business may recover the products within three months from the day after you received the products
- you cannot unreasonably refuse to allow the supplier to recover the products
- you may be liable to pay compensation if you wilfully damage the products during this period.
If the supplier does not collect the unsolicited products within the above timeframes, you can keep the products with no obligation to pay for them.
You are not entitled to keep the products if the products were not intended for you, for example, the packaging was clearly addressed to another person.
More information on how to dispute a debt is available here: Disputing a debt
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