The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has initiated court proceedings against The Good Guys for allegedly making false or misleading representations about store credit and ‘StoreCash’ promotions, and failing to provide store credit to eligible consumers, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

The Good Guys ran 116 promotions between July 2019 and August 2023 in which it offered a store credit or StoreCash if consumers spent a certain amount of money on qualifying products online or in stores.

The ACCC alleges that The Good Guys represented that the only requirement to receive the store credit was to make a qualifying purchase, when that was not the case because consumers were also required to opt in to receive marketing communications to receive a store credit.

“We allege that the conditions for consumers to receive a store credit as part of The Good Guys’ promotions were not communicated adequately in The Good Guys’ marketing materials,” ACCC chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

The ACCC also alleges that The Good Guys represented that store credit or StoreCash would not expire or would expire after a reasonable period, when in fact, for the majority of promotions, it expired within seven to 10 days.

“We also understand that, for the majority of promotions, the store credit being offered expired within a very short period of time of ten days or less, which many consumers were unaware of. We are concerned that as a result of the alleged conduct, consumers may have purchased products from The Good Guys which they might not have done otherwise,” Cass-Gottlieb said.

“Businesses should be on notice that promotional conditions must be prominently disclosed to consumers, rather than buried in hard-to-find locations, or they risk enforcement action under the Australian Consumer Law.”

The ACCC has also alleged that The Good Guys failed to provide store credits to thousands of eligible consumers within the time specified in the offers, or within a reasonable time, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

“Even where consumers met the conditions, we allege that The Good Guys did not provide a store credit at all to many eligible consumers.”

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), JB Hi-Fi Group said, “JB Hi-Fi confirms that the ACCC has instituted proceedings against The Good Guys, a subsidiary of JB Hi-Fi. The proceedings relate to the advertising and fulfilment of certain store credit promotions conducted by The Good Guys during the period July 2019 to August 2023 and allege that The Good Guys contravened the Australian Consumer Law and/or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act in relation to these promotions.

“The Good Guys takes its compliance with the law very seriously and has a comprehensive compliance program in place. The Good Guys has always sought to provide value and benefits to its customers and has worked cooperatively with the ACCC throughout its investigation.

“As this matter is the subject of proceedings in the Federal Court, JB Hi-Fi is unable to make any further comment.”