Hewlett-Packard fined for misleading consumers and retailers

Monday 8 July 2013 @ 8.56 a.m. | Trade & Commerce

A Media Release from the ACCC reports that the Federal Court ordered Hewlett-Packard Australia (HP) to pay a $3 million civil pecuniary penalty for making false or misleading representations to customers and retailers regarding consumer guarantee rights.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) instituted proceedings against HP on 16 October 2012. Subsequently, the ACCC and HP came to an agreed settlement on the matter.

The Court found, based on the parties’ agreed facts, that HP made a number of false or misleading representations to consumers about their consumer guarantee rights, including that:

  • the remedies available to consumers were limited to the remedies available at HP’s discretion;

  • consumers were required to have their product repaired multiple times before they were entitled to a replacement;

  • the warranty period for HP products was limited to a specified express warranty period;

  • consumers were required to pay for remedies outside the express warranty period; and

  • products purchased online could only be returned to HP at HP’s sole discretion.

In addition, the Court found that HP represented to retailers that it was not liable to indemnify the retailer if the retailer failed to obtain authorisation from HP before giving a consumer a refund or replacement.

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