ACCC targets Harvey Norman extended warranty practices

After an industry-wide review.

The ACCC has accepted court enforceable undertakings from Domestic & General Services Pty Ltd (Domestic & General Services) and Yoogalu Pty Ltd (part of the Harvey Norman group of companies) following an industry-wide review of extended warranty selling practices.

“The ACCC has been concerned with the conduct of some retailers overstating the benefits of buying an extended warranty, when consumers have the free protection of consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL),” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

The undertakings require each of Domestic & General Services and Yoogalu to:

  • engage with retailers to revise extended warranty brochures to include additional information to assist consumers in comparing the features of the extended warranty being sold with the existing remedies available under the ACL
  • provide ACL compliance training to those retailers
  • develop and implement a program for monitoring retailers’ extended warranty selling practices, including by mystery shopping, and if necessary take  action to improve those practices.

Domestic & General Services and Yoogalu cooperated with the ACCC by voluntarily offering these undertakings. As a result of these four undertakings, all major Australian retailers who offer extended warranties to consumers of electronics, domestic appliances and white goods will receive compliance training and have their selling practices monitored.

“The actions required by these undertakings will improve selling practices in the industry and provide greater transparency into what consumers are being told by retailers when they are offered extended warranties,” Court said.

Yoogalu was involved in planning, designing and creating ‘Product Care’, an extended warranty product which consumers can add to purchases of certain electronic goods, domestic appliances or white goods at shopping complexes and online stores branded with the trademarks Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne.

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