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.
Uber Eats has committed to changing its contracts with restaurants following an investigation by the ACCC.
From at least 2016, Uber Eats’ contract terms made restaurants responsible for the delivery of meal orders, in circumstances where they had no control over that delivery process once the food left their restaurant.
Uber Eats’ contract terms give it the right to refund consumers and deduct that amount from the restaurant even when the problem with the meal may not have been the fault of the restaurant.
Café, restaurant and take away food services industries will be the target of the ACCC’s next round of Franchising Code compliance checks.
The ACCC has responsibility for regulating the Franchising Code of Conduct in Australia, which includes conducting an active compliance check program.
“The ACCC receives more franchising code related reports from café, restaurant and take-away food franchisees than any other sector, and for this reason franchisors operating in this sector will be the target of our next round of checks” Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.
The Federal Court has ordered former Murray Goulburn Co-operative Managing Director Gary Helou to pay $200,000 in penalties for being knowingly concerned in Murray Goulburn’s false or misleading claims about the farmgate milk price it expected to pay dairy farmers during the 2015-16 milk season.
“The penalty imposed against Mr Helou reflects his seniority at Murray Goulburn and involvement in misleading representations about the farmgate milk price,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.