The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) instituted proceedings against FDRA Pty Ltd for alleged unconscionable and misleading conduct in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. FDRA had supplied electronic tablet devices to Indigenous consumers in remote Indigenous communities, as well as the Royal Darwin Hospital and associated hostels.
FDRA Pty Ltd, and its director and shareholder, Jackson Anni, as well as other sales representatives entered into at least 600 agreements with Indigenous consumers for the supply of electronic tablet devices. FDRA Pty Ltd presented the devices as IPads, which contained thousands of games, and that consumers were required to pay an additional fee for warranty.
ACCC Regional Director Derek Farrell said:
“FDRA made false representations saying that the tablets being supplied were iPads…[Furthermore it was claimed] that they contained thousands of games and that the consumers were required to pay an additional fee for warranty when the warranty should be provided as a right by statute.”
The ACCC alleged that by engaging in a system of conduct or pattern of behaviour, and also in respect of its dealings with individual consumers, in all the circumstances FDRA engaged in unconscionable conduct. FDRA had taken advantage of the consumers’ circumstances such as a poor understanding of English and of commercial transactions and obtaining immediate payment in some cases by taking possession of the consumer’s bank card to make instant withdrawals.
ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper vouched that the Commission would continue to target unfair door to door sale tactics. He said:
“The ACCC will continue to take enforcement action to protect consumers in their homes from contraventions of consumer law, particularly where the conduct affects disadvantaged or vulnerable consumers.”
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