Consumer rights

Data economy drives dynamic changes

ACCC Chair Rod Sims discussed the local and global issues in regulating the data economy in a speech delivered in Sydney today.

Mr Sims examined the difficulty regulators face in determining the competition impacts when dynamic data companies merge, consumer issues and how the ACCC is well placed to take enforcement action in relation to data issues.

“One of the key challenges with merger cases in digital markets is predicting the likelihood of future competition between the target and the acquirer,” Mr Sims said.

Equifax (formerly Veda) to pay $3.5 million in penalties

The Federal Court has ordered that Equifax Australia Information Services and Solutions Pty Ltd (Equifax) pay penalties totalling $3.5 million for misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct in relation to credit report services following joint submissions by Equifax and the ACCC.

Equifax admitted it breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in 2016 and 2017, when its representatives made false or misleading representations to consumers during phone calls.

AFL & NRL clubs fix refunds and returns policies

Twenty-one Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) clubs have made changes to their returns and refunds policies in relation to merchandise sales following an investigation by the ACCC.

“The changes made by the AFL and NRL clubs in question follow a review of returns and refunds policies of various professional sporting clubs nationwide to check they were compliant with the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

ACCC takes action against Europcar for excessive card payment surcharges

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against CLA Trading Pty Ltd (trading as Europcar) for allegedly charging excessive credit and debit card payment surcharges, in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The ACCC alleges that Europcar customers who used Visa or MasterCard credit cards during July and August 2017 were charged fees above what it cost Europcar to accept those payments.

Correction: Cruisin Motorhomes pays penalty for excessive payment surcharges

Cruisin Motorhomes Pty Ltd (Cruisin Motorhomes) has paid a penalty of $12,600 after the ACCC issued an infringement notice for an alleged breach of the excessive payment surcharge laws in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Cruisin Motorhomes operates a campervan and motorhome rental business, with branches in Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns.

The ACCC alleged that, in January 2018, Cruisin Motorhomes charged Visa and MasterCard customers a 2 per cent surcharge, despite the cost of processing the payment ranging from 0.41 to 1.48 per cent.

Home care - a guide to your consumer rights

When you buy goods or services in Australia you have consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law. You have the same rights when you buy home care goods or services, or receive them through a government-funded Home Care Package.

Full Court finds LG made misleading representations

The Full Federal Court has partially upheld an appeal by the ACCC against an earlier judgment dismissing the ACCC’s case against LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd (LG).

The Full Court found that LG made two representations to consumers that were false, overturning the initial court decision, but dismissed the ACCC’s appeal in respect of other LG statements made to consumers.

Alinta Energy misled consumers on discounts

Alinta Energy (Alinta) has undertaken to compensate thousands of Victorians for making misleading electricity price comparisons which the ACCC considered were likely in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Between 9 December 2017 and 28 February 2018, Alinta’s advertisements compared increases in its competitors’ standing or undiscounted tariff rates to decreases in Alinta’s discounted tariff rates.

iPhone and iPad misrepresentations cost Apple Inc $9 million in penalties

The Federal Court ordered Apple Inc (Apple US) to pay $9 million in penalties for making false or misleading representations to customers with faulty iPhones and iPads about their rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The ACCC took action against Apple US and Apple Pty Ltd (Apple Australia) following an investigation of complaints relating to ‘error 53’. This error disabled some iPhones and iPads after owners downloaded an update to Apple’s ‘iOS’ operating system.