It has been alleged that retailer JB Hi-Fi has been selling used phones as new after two separate incidents were reported to the ACCC.

In June 2008, a JB Hi-Fi store at Westfield Kotara, NSW, was found to be selling returned Nokia mobile phones to a customer who upon purchase realised the phones contained other people’s personal details.

The ACCC received complaints after a consumer found contacts and video clips created by the phone’s previous owner.

This massive bungle is set to dampen positive reports on the company’s profit performance over the past few weeks.

The ACCC has stated that JB Hi-Fi has broken the Trade Practices Act 1974, by engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct, which in turn has breached sections 52 and 53(b) of the Act.

ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel has slammed the retailer and its deceptive practices.

“When buying a mobile phone consumers are entitled to expect it is new and hasn’t previously been used or returned as faulty. Supplying a used product by mistake or otherwise is deceptive”, he said.

JB Hi-Fi has claimed that this has occurred due to a procedural error, where a returned mobile phone was accidently mixed with existing stock, instead of being returned to the supplier.

Whether this is the case or not is irrelevant occurring to the ACCC, who claim that the retailer should have taken more care with its stock management.

“While it may have been an error in this case, in general, consumers should be fully informed about the actual product they are taking home,” Samuel said.

JB Hi-Fi has been cooperative in resolving the matter, by offering full refunds to customers who purchased used mobiles, but regardless of this, the mix up will hit the retailer hard.

The fact that this occurred on two separate occasions puts a question mark over the retailer’s mobile phone selling practices.