Small business contacts continue to rise during pandemic

The ACCC received over 3,500 contacts from small businesses in the first six months of this year, the highest number of contacts in the last two years.  

The ACCC’s latest Small Business in Focus report, released today, highlights the ACCC’s work from January to June 2021 in the small business, franchising and agriculture sectors.

The report shows that approximately one quarter of all small business contacts to the ACCC are about online business activity.

Geowash franchise appeal dismissed

The Full Federal Court has today dismissed an appeal by the former director and franchising manager of former carwash franchise Geowash Pty Ltd against a Federal Court decision that they were knowingly concerned in breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and Franchising Code of Conduct (Franchising Code) by Geowash.

In 2019, the Federal Court found that Geowash had acted unconscionably towards franchisees through its charging practices for the establishment and fit-out of its franchise sites, in breach of the ACL.

Jump Swim ordered to pay penalties of $23 million and Ian Campbell ordered to pay compensation

The franchisor Jump Loops Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (Jump Swim) has been ordered to pay penalties of $23 million for making false or misleading representations and wrongly accepting payments from franchisees, in proceedings brought by the ACCC.

Jump Swim offered ‘Jump Swim’ branded learn-to-swim school franchises for sale between March 2016 and July 2019.

ACCC alleges RFG engaged in unconscionable and misleading conduct

The ACCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) and five of its related entities (Retail Food Group), alleging the food and beverage franchise company engaged in unconscionable conduct and made false or misleading representations in its dealings with franchisees, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Retail Food Group manages and operates a number of franchises, including Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakery, Donut King and Gloria Jean’s Coffee.