E-commerce business breaches ACCC orders

StoresOnline, an e-commerce marketing company that specialises in providing start-up software for internet retail businesses has breached numerous ACCC undertakings in regards to its misleading and deceptive conduct.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, StoresOnline International Inc and StoresOnline Inc failed to comply with undertakings presented in April 2006.

Court orders have shown that StoresOnline breached these undertakings when it conducted e-commerce marketing presentations in Australia in October 2005 and March 2007.

The court found that StoresOnline failed to advise purchasers they were entitled to a 3-day cooling off period after getting the software; failed to advise that the successful use of the software would depend on a number of factors, including the consumers familiarity with computing and business operations; and that testimonials in presentations were not approved by the ACCC, and that they didn’t maintain and archive audio recordings for its presentations.

“The ACCC often accepts court-enforceable undertakings from traders as a means of resolving its concerns about a trader’s compliance with the Trade Practices Act,” said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.

“The legal action taken against StoresOnline shows that the ACCC will actively pursue its right to enforce these undertakings through court proceedings when it is clear that traders have failed to meet their promised obligations to both the ACCC and to consumers.”

In addition to this, the ACCC raised further concerns over the misleading and deceptive representations of the price of its products and services at presentations. This aspect of the case was heard in the Federal Court on Tuesday 15 December 2009 before Justice Edmonds, who has reserved his judgement.

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