UK-based retailer Wiggle fined over refund policy
Thursday, December 13, 2018/
Another international retailer has been caught telling Australian customers they’re not subject to Australian Consumer Law.
Online sporting goods retailer Wiggle, which is based in the UK, has conceded its customer service staff “likely” misled customers about their right to remedies for faulty products.
The business has paid a $12,600 penalty in a court enforceable undertaking agreement with consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The ACCC alleges Wiggle told Aussies it was not subject to Australian Consumer Law, and customers needed to contact product manufacturers with faulty product complaints.
As ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard explained in a statement on Wednesday, that’s a no-no.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund when there has been a major problem with the product. This law applies to all businesses that sell products to consumers in Australia, including overseas-based businesses,” she said.
It is also alleged Wiggle didn’t provide full refunds for faulty products that had been used by Australian consumers.
“Statements by retailers which seek to limit or exclude the Australian consumer guarantees are misleading and likely to contravene the Australian Consumer Law,” Rickard said.
Wiggle is not the first overseas business selling to Australian consumers that has run afoul of Australian Consumer Law.
Last year online video game marketplace Steam was ordered to pay $3 million in penalties after it was found to have made misleading representations regarding refunds.
Wiggle has committed to implementing an Australian Consumer Law compliance policy and has said it will train its customer service staff in compliance with Australian laws.
Wiggle has also amended the section on its website which previously stated only English and UK law applied to its transactions.
Adam Johnson, general manager of international for Wiggle, told SmartCompany via email that the company worked cooperatively with the ACCC.
Be honest about your situation: How vulnerability helps businesses thrive Sue Parker DARE Group founder
Own it: The 10 things you need to do to manage your personal brand Lisa Stephenson Who Am I Projects founder
Six invaluable lessons: What 20 years in aged care taught me about being an entrepreneur Natasha Chadwick NewDirection Care founder
An entrepreneurial superpower: Eight tips to help develop resilience Adala Bolto ZADI Training co-founder
Going through a lull? Five areas you should invest in when sales drop Tamara Alaveras and Sonia Majkic 3 Phase Marketing co-founders
Stop telling us how busy you are, it's boring and charmless Ian Whitworth Scene Change co-founder
Blandification™ and the state of modern branding Jeffrey Oley The Offices co-founder
Why you should find the right role for the right person — not the other way around Bruce Stronge Outfit founder