Company or individual details
- Chrisco Hampers Australia Limited41 080 852 535
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Chrisco Hampers Australia Limited (Chrisco) to address the ACCC’s concerns that:
- Chrisco’s lay-by agreement includes a term, known as a ‘HeadStart Plan’ (HSP), that may be unfair (HSP Term); and
- Chrisco likely made false or misleading representations to consumers through HSP email and SMS promotional campaigns which offered consumers a credit to be redeemed by clicking on an image; when consumers clicked on the image, Chrisco automatically signed them up to a HSP without their further consent and requested payment or debited their bank accounts.
Chrisco retails Christmas hampers and other merchandise, predominately via lay-by agreement, to Australian consumers. Chrisco delivers hundreds of thousands of hampers to homes across Australia each year.
Chrisco has provided the ACCC with a section 87B undertaking that includes:
- an acknowledgement that the HSP Term may be an unfair contract term within the meaning of sections 23 and 24 of the ACL; and
- an admission that, in respect of the HSP promotional emails and SMSs, Chrisco likely made false or misleading representations to consumers in contravention of sections 18 and 29(1)(d) of the ACL.
To address the ACCC’s concerns, Chrisco will:
- amend its terms and conditions to make the HSP Term ‘opt in’ each year;
- ensure that the effect and operation of the HSP Term is clearly and prominently explained to consumers;
- not take or request any further payment from the customer (after receiving the customer’s final payment for that year’s order) unless the customer has actively advised that they wish to continue to participate in a HSP for the following year;
- write to customers whose 2020 HSP has been automatically converted by Chrisco into an order, but not confirmed by the customer, outlining the customers options to confirm, modify or cancel the order (and get a refund);
- in relation to future electronic promotions, only use a multi-step confirmation process in order to create a HSP agreement for a consumer;
- pay $20 to certain consumers who were affected by the HSP promotional emails and SMSs, and incurred bank charges after Chrisco attempted to withdraw funds; and
- implement and maintain a comprehensive Consumer Compliance Program for three years.