ACCC goes after HP over warranties

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges HP misled consumers and retailers on warranties

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking Hewlett-Packard to court, alleging that HP made misrepresentations to consumers about their warranty rights.

The ACCC has alleged that HP misled consumers about their statutory warranty rights.

It claims that HP violated Australian Consumer Law, including by telling customers that an HP product would have to be repaired multiple times before they were eligible for a replacement, that customers would have to pay for repairs to faulty products if they were made following the expiry of an express warranty period, and that products purchased from HP couldn't be returned or exchanged without authorisation from the vendor.

The ACCC also alleges that HP misled retailers in relation to warranties.

The consumer watchdog is seeking civil pecuniary penalties and adverse publicity orders, as well as the implementation of a compliance program and redress for consumers affected by HP's alleged conduct.

A statement issued by HP said that “HP takes seriously the matters raised by the ACCC and will fully investigate and respond appropriately.”

Last year MSY was slapped with a $200,000 fine for breaching the Trade Practices Act after the ACCC took the Australian electronics retailer to court.

In the ruling in that case, Justice Perram of the Federal Court stated that “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."

“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,” Justice Perram stated.

A scheduling conference for the ACCC case against HP, which will be heard in the Federal Court in Sydney, will be held on 7 December.

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