Business responsibilities

Small Business unfair contract terms in focus

The ACCC is continuing to educate business and take enforcement action to ensure that small businesses receive the protections of the new unfair contract terms laws.

Since 12 November last year, when the laws were extended to small business contracts, the ACCC has taken successful court action against a major waste management company, JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd, for unfair contract terms including an automatic five-year rollover clause, a unilateral price variation term and a broad indemnity provision.

ACCC concludes investigation into ALDI 'flushable' wipes

The ACCC has completed its investigation into ALDI’s ‘flushable’ wipes and will take no further action after ALDI stopped selling its personal hygiene wipes and removed potentially misleading claims from its bathroom cleaning wipes packaging.

In July this year, the ACCC raised concerns with ALDI regarding its promotion of certain ‘flushable’ wipes products. At the time, ALDI was promoting the Green Action Flushable Bathroom Cleaning Wipes (100pk) in its Special Buys catalogue.

Advanced Hair offers part refunds for unfair contracts

Advanced Hair Studio Pty Ltd (Advanced Hair) will partly refund some customers who purchased the Advanced Laser Therapy Program between April 2015 and June 2017, following ACCC concerns that Advanced Hair’s contract contained terms that were unfair.

Advanced Hair supplies hair loss treatments and procedures including laser therapy as part of 3-12 month programs.

One of the cancellation clauses in Advanced Hair’s contracts required customers to pay the entire cost of the program even if they had attended only one or two laser sessions.

National Warranty Company agrees to change extended warranties

Davantage Group Pty Ltd trading as National Warranty Company (NWC) has agreed to make changes to its ‘Extension to Manufacturer’s Warranty’, which is primarily sold through used-vehicle dealerships, following concerns raised by the ACCC.

NWC’s extended warranties are available nationally through dealers for new and used vehicles. The ACCC investigated following concerns that NWC’s extended warranties had the potential to mislead consumers about the benefits, and need for, purchasing an extended warranty.

In particular, the ACCC was concerned that:

ACCC takes JJ Richards to court over alleged unfair contract terms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd (JJ Richards) alleging that eight clauses in its standard form small business contract are void because they are unfair under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

JJ Richards is one of the largest privately-owned waste management companies in Australia and provides recycling, sanitary, and green waste collection services.

Law Council of Australia

Chairman Rod Sims outlines the ACCC's new approach to information gathering in merger analysis, and how an increase in resources for cartel investigations over the past three years resulted in this week's once-in-a-century conviction for cartel conduct.

ACCC says Small Businesses just need a level playing field

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken action over the last six months to ensure small business have a level playing field, as revealed in the 14th edition of the ACCC’s Small Business in Focus report.

“The ACCC is committed to ensuring small businesses receive the protections of the new business-to-business unfair contract terms law, franchising and other industry codes,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.