ACCC fines MSY Technology $200k

Technology company fined $200,000 for making misleading warranty representations

MSY Technology has been fined over $200,000 after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) declared the online retailer made false and misleading consumer warranty representations to its customers.

The company and its four subsidiary companies were penalised for breaching the Trade Practices Act, with acting ACCC chairman, Michael Schaper, saying that the fine comes as a timely reminder for other technology businesses.

“The ACCC will actively pursue businesses that misrepresent consumers’ rights under the new law,” he said.

Justice Perram of the Federal Court said the fines reflected the severity of the company’s policy on misrepresenting warranty rights.

“It is appropriate that it should be made plain to retailers in the position of companies, such as the respondents that misrepresenting to consumers what their warranty rights are is an unacceptable form of commercial conduct and illegal,” he said in a statement.

“It is appropriate, therefore, to encourage retailers not to give consumers the impression either that their statutory rights are curtailed or non-existent, or that warranties can only be obtained through payment.”

The court also declared that each of the MSY Technology companies implement a trade practices compliance program, publish corrective notices on its website and pay the ACCC’s court costs.

The fines come as the ACCC last month claimed it was concerned about the lack of competition the NBN may produce.

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More about: ACCC, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Technology
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Comments

Martin

1

I wrote a letter to the NSW Office of Fair Trading early 2009 about two issues that I had with MSY. It did seem to me they were rather "unique" in the way they seemed to believe that as a retailer they held no responsibility for the product they sold being git for purpose. I photographed a poster in a store that basically directed users to get a return authorisation from the manufacturer in the first instance. Also a colleague was pretty much told a fault ADSL modem was also something he would have to pursue with the manufacturer. The OFT did tell me they had spoken to MSY and informed them of their obligations. It seems that didn't change their ways quick enough. I still buy from them because of their price advantage, and at least now we hopefully know they understand their obligations

James

2

As quite similar to my case, I bought a 1GB RAM from MSY 3 mth ago and they gave me a wrong RAM as I described. I reckoned it was a simple case then I brought my RAM to MSY office at Auburn and required a change of correct RAM even I was ready to pay more. It is not a refund money and it was absolutely not my fault. They definitely refused this case and required I have to bring my computer to them and ensure it dit not fit the RAM. I tried to discuss with them and their staff become soooo rude with me...

How 's ridiculous an IT retailer deal with customer in that way! be pity them and sorry about my words here but they deserved to get the fine by ACCC.

They need to change the policy and customer service to compete with the other. A Cheap Price is good but not everything. We are living in a service country and all we need is the best customer service!!!
Thanks for reading.

Ben

3

Sorry to say I had the same problem with one of their products I even emailed their parent company regarding the lack of customer service/support 1 week later no reply, surprise, surprise.
The board in mention was a Gigabyte motherboard that had bent pins in the boards CPU socket housing, they said that I must have damaged it, if I had damaged it I would have bought a new one, funny part is when I took it in it was because 2 of the RAM sockets had died, they looked confused as to why but removed the CPU & said the pins on the board are bent. Short story purchased a new one from a different dealer had them check the board & also install the CPU in front of me, one working computer yeah. Have also emailed Gigabyte regarding this waiting for a reply. PS disposed of the board at a local electronic recycling depot. Agree with the above peoples, they have to change but I can't see it happening, maybe another fine will wake them up?
Thanks glad to see I am not the only one with problems.

John

4

msy have been doing this since they were open, 200k might seem like alot, but compared to the heartache and money they have made their customers lose, i suspect relatively its the tip of the iceberg.

I think a 10 mill fine would have been more appropriate.

Mick

5

All I see are people crying about MSY, if you wernt such idiots these things wouldnt happen to you, I don't believe for one seccond your MB had bent pins out of the box and you people saying they need bigger fines because of the "heartache" they have caused to the idiot customers like yourself need to jump off a cliff and end it now to make room for normal people.

Mark

6

Well mixed feelings on this one, I don't entirely agree with directing customers immediately to the manufacturer (definently not the only electronics retailer doing this by the way - I could list MANY that have this same practice. Wonder if they are set for a fine also). That said I have spent alot of money with MSY building several pc's for myself and many other pc's for family and friends and never had a problem with products or service. As for the gigabyte motherboard case, well thats laughable, you most certainly damaged the board and I beleive the fact you had another store install the new cpu on new motherboard and disposed of the damaged one before even waiting for a reply from gigabyte is as much of an admission of guilt on your part as anything possibly could be.

Bill

7

@Ben

I had exactly that happen to me a month before this report was written, I argued though and knew my rights and obtained a full refund. They weren't too happy about giving it to me though, it was also a Gigabyte motherboard, the very important thing though is to report this dead on arrival and take it back ASAP.

Ever since this experience though, I advise anyone buying a motherboard to check the socket in-store before you leave.

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