ACCC slams supplier over shonky warranties

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: The ACCC has slammed a small appliance manufacturer over false and misleading claims made in its warranty cards. Warranties are important for both retailers and consumers, and the ACCC wants all suppliers to know the rules.

The supplier in question is GAF Control, who markets products under the brand names Tiffany, Avanti, Sunair and Heller. The warranty card included in certain small appliance products sold under these brandnames raised the ire of the ACCC because it included false information about consumers’ warranty and refund rights.

"Although suppliers of products can provide their own express warranties that enlarge a consumers’ warranty rights, they must not exclude or restrict consumers’ statutory rights, or mislead consumers about their statutory rights," said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.

"If they do, they risk breaking the law and being exposed to a criminal action."

Furthermore, Samuel wants all suppliers to be aware of their obligations under the Trade Practices Act 1974, which protects consumers’ rights relating to good purchased from a retailer.

In this instance, the ACCC has reported that GAF Control admitted its warranty cards contained false statements about consumers’ rights. Under threat of future court action, GAF has agreed to replace its warranty cards and to introduce new policies to prevent this happening again.

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