CHRISCO HAMPERED WITH $200,000 FINE

Written on the 3 March 2016

CHRISCO HAMPERED WITH $200,000 FINE

CHRISCO may be known for spreading cheer as one of Australia's largest Christmas retailers, but the company is less than jolly today after being hit with a whopping fine for sales misconduct.

The Christmas hamper distributor was put on the Federal Court's naughty list and ordered to pay a $200,000 penalty after it made unlawful statements regarding its lay-by policy.

Chrisco made the representation that its customers couldn't cancel lay-by purchases after making their final payments, a statement contested by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as false or misleading under Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Contrary to Chrisco's policies, the ACL provides that customers are free to cancel their lay-by purchases at any time prior to delivery, even if payments have been made in full.

The Court also found that Chrisco's 'HeadStart Plan' contained an unfair contract term, as it allowed the company to continue taking direct debit payments after the customer had finished paying for their lay-by order.

To avoid having further money automatically taken from their accounts, customers were required to opt out of the debiting process.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims says Chrisco's case should act as a warning to other lay-by retailers to not mislead their customers and to be stringent in following all legal requirements under the ACL.

"The importance of the penalty imposed by the court against Chrisco is that it sends a strong message to businesses using lay-by as a method of sale that they must meet all of their ACL obligations, and do not mislead consumers about their rights," he says.

Sims says the lay-by system thrives particularly in the lead-up to Christmas, making it imperative for companies to make sure all policies are in line.

"We understand that making purchases by lay-by agreement is a convenient way for many Australians to shop, particularly for products such as Christmas hampers and presents.

"Consumers have termination rights at any time before the delivery of the goods, subject to a reasonable termination charge in some circumstances.

"The ACL provides that lay-by agreements must be in writing and transparent."

The ACCC was initially alerted to Chrisco's dodgy dealings via the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network, as part of the ACCC's Indigenous consumer protection and outreach work.


Latest News

BASKETBALL'S COMEBACK CONTINUES WITH NBL CLUBS TO FACE OFF AGAINST CHINA'S NATIONAL TEAM

THE RESURGENCE of Australia's National Basketball League (NBL) continues with China's national team to play t...

ADELAIDE APARTMENT BREAKS OFF-THE-PLAN RECORD WITH $3M SALE

AN apartment in 'The Adelaidean' residential development in Adelaide has sold for more than $3 million, which...

CABCHARGE GIVEN GREEN LIGHT TO BUY YELLOW CABS IN QUEENSLAND FOR $20M

THE consumer watchdog will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Yellow Cabs in Queensland by taxi payment service C...

SLEEPING ROUGH IN THE NAME OF CHARITY: 170 BRISBANE BUSINESS LEADERS TAKE PART IN THE CEO SLEEPOUT

OVER 170 Brisbane CEOs and business leaders will brave the cold tonight to fight homelessness in what will be the big...

Related News

BASKETBALL'S COMEBACK CONTINUES WITH NBL CLUBS TO FACE OFF AGAINST CHINA'S NATIONAL TEAM

THE RESURGENCE of Australia's National Basketball League (NBL) continues with China's national team to play t...

DOMESTIC TOURISM IN AUSTRALIA BREAKS RECORDS, INJECTS $61.7 BILLION INTO NATIONAL ECONOMY

DOMESTIC Australian tourists have spent a record breaking $61.7 billion on intra and interstate travel this year, acc...

THE DOCTORS WHO PLUNGED INTO THE SHARK TANK AND SURVIVED WITH A $500,000 INVESTMENT

THEIR mission is to change the face of cancer care with an app that empowers and connects patients and care givers...

IMF BRACES FOR BIG LOSS FOLLOWING WITHDRAWAL FROM SPOTLESS CLASS ACTION

LITIGATION fund IMF Bentham (ASX: IMF) is set to lose as much as half a million dollars after it ceases funding one o...

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter