MSY Is In The ACCC’s Crosshairs Again

Everybody’s favourite ultra-discount computer store MSY Technology has run foul of Australia’s consumer watchdog, again. This time, the ACCC is targeting MSY for apparently misleading customers on their rights around refunds, replacements and warranties.

After being slapped on the wrist with a $203,500 fine for dodgy warranty practices between 2010 and 2012, the ACCC is again pursuing MSY for similar practices it claims occurred between January 2013 and February of this year.

It’s saying statements made to customers on MSY’s website and in some of its 28 stores around Australia claimed the cut-rate PC components supplier reserved the right to choose whether to offer customers repairs, replacements or refunds for faulty parts, and also whether it wanted to offer any remedy at all. The ACCC also alleges that MSY told customers that administration fees would be charged for warranty work.

All of these are prima facie breaches of Australian Consumer Law, which offers customers statutory rights on the quality of the goods they buy. It usually includes the right to repair, replace or refunds, and cannot be excluded by a retailer.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court on the upcoming Federal Court proceedings against MSY: “Businesses must not mislead consumers about their consumer guarantee rights. Consumers who have purchased a faulty product have a right under the consumer guarantees to remedies which businesses cannot restrict, alter, or remove. The ACCC is particularly concerned that this type of conduct by businesses which have a national presence has the potential to cause significant consumer harm.”

Australia’s competition and consumer watchdog wants an injunction against MSY’s statements, penalties for the actions already taken, promises that it won’t happen again, and a “comprehensive compliance program” to make sure of that fact. In its statement, the ACCC does take pains to point out that all of this has happened before, too. [ACCC]

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