Consumer rights

Jetstar in court for misleading claims on refunds

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd (Jetstar) for making false or misleading representations about consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Jetstar has admitted that it made representations on its website that some fares were not refundable, and that consumers could only get a refund if they purchased a more expensive fare.

“No matter how cheap the fares are, airlines cannot make blanket statements to consumers that flights are non-refundable,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Jetstar, Tigerair, Qantas and Virgin Australia to fix refund policies

Jetstar, Tigerair, Qantas and Virgin Australia have committed to ensuring their refund policies and practices comply with their consumer guarantee obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The ACCC was concerned that each airline had made false or misleading representations on their websites that misled consumers about their rights to refunds and resupply in the event of significant flight delays or cancellations.

Lloyds Auctioneers pays penalty for excessive payment surcharges

Lloyds Auctioneers and Valuers Pty Ltd (Lloyds) has paid penalties totalling $37,800 after the ACCC issued three infringement notices for alleged breaches of the excessive payment surcharges law.

From September 2017 to March 2018, Lloyds charged customers a 2.25% surcharge when making credit or debit card payments online for auction items purchased.

The ACCC considered these surcharges were excessive because they were higher than Lloyds’ cost of processing those payments by as much as 1.43%.

Optus misled customers over ‘Direct Carrier Billing’ charges

The ACCC has commenced proceedings against Optus, alleging it made false or misleading representations to consumers in relation to its third-party billing service known as ‘Direct Carrier Billing’ (DCB).

Optus has admitted that it made false or misleading representations in contravention of the ASIC Act, and has agreed to apply jointly with the ACCC for orders from the Federal Court.

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.