Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Back In Motion Physiotherapy to remove alleged unfair contract terms for franchisees

The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking by Back In Motion Physiotherapy Pty Ltd to remove certain terms from its franchisees agreements which it admits may be unfair.

Under a restraint of trade clause contained in most of the Back In Motion Physiotherapy franchise agreements, any franchisee who wanted to leave the group was not allowed to be involved in any competing practice located within a radius of up to 10 kilometres of a Back In Motion Physiotherapy franchise for up to 12 months.

Oscar Wylee penalised $3.5m for ‘buy a pair, give a pair’ charity claims

Eyewear retailer Oscar Wylee has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay $3.5 million in penalties for misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations about its charitable donations and affiliations, in breach of Australian Consumer Law.

Oscar Wylee admitted that between January 2014 and December 2018 it made statements in its social media posts, emails, on its website, and promotional merchandise that for each pair of glasses a consumer purchased, it donated another pair of glasses to someone in need, when it did not do so.

Full Federal Court dismisses ACCC appeal in TPG 'prepayment' case

The Full Federal Court has dismissed the ACCC’s appeal against TPG Internet Pty Ltd (TPG) in relation to the marketing and sale of some prepaid internet, home telephone and mobile plans.

The prepaid plans at issue required customers to make a ‘prepayment’ of at least $20 for the potential usage of services not included in the value of their plan.

When the prepayment balance drops below $10, TPG automatically topped up the prepayment balance to $20. When the plan was cancelled, the prepayment balance was forfeited.

Locality Planning Energy pays penalty for alleged breach of Electricity Retail Code

Electricity provider Locality Planning Energy Pty Ltd (LPE) has paid a penalty of $10,500 after the ACCC issued it with an infringement notice for an alleged contravention of the Electricity Retail Code.

This is the first enforcement action taken by the ACCC for a breach of the Code.

The Code was introduced in July 2019 to reduce confusion and make it easier for consumers to compare retail electricity offers. It imposes rules on electricity providers for how they must advertise prices and conditions on market and standing offers.

Service Seeking to pay penalty for misleading online ‘customer’ reviews

The Federal Court has ordered online tasking platform Service Seeking Pty Ltd to pay $600,000 in penalties for making false or misleading representations regarding reviews of businesses which were offering services on the platform.

Service Seeking operates an online tasking platform where customers can seek quotes for jobs, such as gardening, building or cleaning services from businesses registered with the platform.

Chrisco undertakes to address concerns about lay-by plans and promotions

Chrisco Hampers Australia Limited (Chrisco) has provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC in which it acknowledges that a term in its lay-by agreements for Christmas hampers and other items, known as a “HeadStart Plan”, may be an unfair contract term. Chrisco also admitted that it likely made false or misleading representations to consumers in its promotions about the plan.   

Kogan tax time promotion found to be false or misleading

The Federal Court has found online retailer Kogan Australia Pty Ltd (Kogan) breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false and misleading representations about a tax time sales promotion, in proceedings brought by the ACCC.

Kogan ran the online promotion from 27 to 30 June 2018, advertising to consumers that they could use the code ‘TAXTIME’ to reduce prices by 10 per cent at checkout.  The promotion was advertised on Kogan’s website, in emails it sent to more than 10 million consumers, and in SMS messages to more than 930,000 consumers.