The Australian Federal court and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have found e-commerce marketing companies, StoresOnline International and StoresOnline, to be in breach of the Trades Practices Act 1974, by misleading their customers on the price of products and services offered at workshops and seminars.
The judge overseeing the case, Justice Edmonds concluded both StoresOnline International and StoresOnline advertised a discount on their software packages purchased at workshops and seminars but had no intention of selling the same products for a higher price. Software packages were offered at a discounted price to workshop attendees for 90 days after the workshop was held. It was also found that the products were not sold during this 90 day period.
The outcome of the case against the American company demonstrates the willingness of the ACCC to pursue matters concerning Australian consumers on an international scale, according to ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.
“International corporations are on notice that if they mislead or deceive Australian consumers they will risk similar court action by the ACCC," Samuel said in a statement.
StoresOnline was also ordered by the court to pay ACCC’s costs.
StoresOnline was previously found to be in breach of section 87B of the Trade Practices Act, when the ACCC ordered the company to make adjustments to misleading presentation slides from marketing presentations made in Australia in October 2006 and March 2007.