When using a payment method other than cash, consumers should read any terms and conditions carefully. Businesses should be clear about the total price payable.
There are ways that businesses can improve their customer loyalty schemes.
Education software supplier Compass Matin Pty Ltd and its contract manager EduCollect Pty Ltd have admitted to using unfair contract terms in the supply of their CAMI and iTutor home tutoring programs.
Compass Matin supplied Maths and English tutoring software programs for primary and secondary students under the CAMI and iTutor brands until April 2020. EduCollect provided contract management services to, and received payments for, Compass Matin. Both companies had the same director, Mr Stephen Palframan.
UK based audio branding company Please Hold (UK) Limited (PHMG) has committed to amend its contract terms after an ACCC investigation into allegations that PHMG’s standard form contract contained unfair contract terms, and limited consumer guarantee rights.
PHMG provides audio branding services including on-hold music and on-hold marketing services to small business customers.
Funeral services provider Alex Gow Proprietary Limited (Alex Gow Funerals) has paid a penalty of $13,320 after the ACCC issued it with an infringement notice for allegedly making a false and misleading representation about the price of its funeral services and the fees that consumers are required to pay.
The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from home security provider Tyco Australia Group Pty Ltd, trading as ADT Security, to refund consumers who were wrongly invoiced, and to remove or amend certain unfair contract terms from its residential customer service agreement.
ADT Security has admitted that it is likely to have made false or misleading representations by continuing to invoice residential customers who had terminated their contract for home security services.
The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against printing company Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd and a related company (together, Fuji), alleging that in total nine types of Fuji’s standard form small business contracts contain 173 unfair contract terms.
1300 Australia has undertaken to amend its current and future contracts with small businesses and will refund part of the termination fees paid by small business customers, as a result of ACCC concerns that some of the contract terms were unfair.
The company sells ‘phonewords’, which are telephone numbers that also spell words on a keypad, such as ’13 POOL’ or ‘1300 PROPERTY’.
In a court-enforceable undertaking, 1300 Australia has acknowledged that some of the terms in its contracts may have been unfair, and committed to amend its contracts.
The Federal Court has found hair loss business Ashley & Martin’s terms in three standard form contracts with consumers are void because they were unfair.
From June 2014 until at least June 2017, Ashley & Martin signed up more than 25,000 customers to its ‘Personal RealGROWTH Program’ using three different standard form contracts which have all been found to contain unfair terms.
Unfair contract terms are a key focus in the ACCC’s latest Small Business in Focus report.
The twice yearly report, which provides an update on key developments in the small business, franchising, and agriculture sectors, reports on the ACCC’s continued actions to protect small businesses against terms in a standard form contract that may be considered unfair.