Company or individual details
- Belkin Limited64095402663
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Belkin Limited (Belkin) in relation to “lifetime warranty” and “limited lifetime warranty” representations made about more than 130 types of products supplied by Belkin in Australia. Belkin has acknowledged that these representations may have contravened sections 18 and 29(1)(m) of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), and are likely to have contravened section 102 of the ACL.
Belkin is the Australian subsidiary of Belkin International, Inc., a manufacturer of consumer electronics incorporated in Delaware, United States of America. Belkin designs, manufactures, distributes and retails consumer electronic products throughout Australia. Belkin’s product range in Australia includes network connection devices, such as routers and adapters, and computer, tablet and mobile phone accessories, such as USB chargers, keyboards and protective cases. Belkin supplies these products online and through prominent Australian retailers under well-known brands such as Belkin, Linksys and WeMo.
The relevant conduct
Between about July 2016 and July 2017, Belkin made representations on the packaging of more than 130 types of its products that those products were sold with a “lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty”.
In fact, Belkin had a policy on repairing or replacing those products pursuant to the warranty only within five years of the date of purchase.
On its website, Belkin stated that these warranties applied for the lifetime of the product, which Belkin had determined to be five years, not the lifetime of the consumer. However, there was no material on or in the packaging of Belkin’s products informing consumers of this.
The ACCC considers that some consumers may have understood that a “lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty” applied for the lifetime of the purchaser, or a period longer than five years.
Further, some of the lifetime warranty products did not contain all the information required by section 102 of the ACL. Section 102 requires businesses supplying goods or services with a warranty against defects to provide the consumer with information concerning their ACL rights and how to make a claim under the manufacturer’s warranty, amongst other things.
The relevant undertaking
To address the ACCC’s concerns, Belkin provided the ACCC with an undertaking pursuant to section 87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) that, among other things, it will:
- for the next three years, honour the warranty on products sold with a “lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty” for the lifetime of the original end-user purchaser, subject to proof of purchase; and
- for the next three years, not make a “lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty” representation, unless the warranties referred to in such representations apply for the lifetime of the original end-user purchaser; and
- take steps to have its products comply with the requirements for warranties against defects.