SPORTSCRAFT WEARS PENALTY FOR MISLEADING CONDUCT
9 June 2016,
CLOTHING retailer Sportscraft has paid a $21,600 penalty following an industry-wide investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
During its inquiry, the ACCC issued infringement notices to Sportscraft citing reasonable grounds for believing that the retailer had been making false or misleading representations about consumer guarantees from as early as January this year.
The two representations in question stated firstly that customers weren't able to return or exchange faulty goods purchased from a clearance store, and secondly that Sportscraft would not refund, exchange or credit note the item more than 21 days after purchase.
These statements were released on Sportscraft's tax invoices and website respectively.
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said that retailers need to be aware of a consumer's irrevocable rights, including the right to return faulty goods, when reviewing their own refund or returns policies.
"Consumer guarantee rights apply for all purchases a consumer makes, and these rights cannot be removed or reduced by a business's terms and condition," says Court.
"Clothing retailers cannot exclude or refuse a consumer's right to a remedy simply because the faulty goods are bought at a discount clearance store.
"This is a timely reminder for all retail stores, particularly for clothing retailers, to review their refund or returns policies to ensure that they do not contravene the ACL."
Australian Competition Law rules that all customers who purchase goods or services in Australia are entitled to its provisions, including that goods must be of acceptably quality, fit for any specified purpose and must match any description given or sample shown.
The ACCC is continuing its investigations and soon expects to take further action regarding at least one other clothing retailer.
Sportscraft has since amended its refund and returns policy.