ACCC Fines Kogan $32,400 For Dodgy Discounting

Online electronc retailer Kogan has been fined $32,400 by the ACCC. As part of a 2015 Father's Day promotion, the retailer offered 20 per cent off a range of computer monitors. The problem was, the prices had been bumped up prior to the sale — leaving customers with a discount of only 9 per cent.

The sale was promoted on Kogan's eBay store, and was found by the ACCC to be in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

The 20 per cent discount was offered between 24th and 29th August 2015 on the following computer monitors:

  • Kogan 27” Cinema Display WQHD
  • Kogan 28” 4k LED Monitor
  • Asus 27” LED Monitor PB278Q

Before or at the start of the promotion, Kogan increased prices of the monitors, only to return them to their regular (and lower) prices after the sale was over.

“It is simply unacceptable for businesses to raise prices before applying a discount in order to give consumers the misleading impression that they are obtaining a larger percentage discount than is actually the case," ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“Truth in advertising and consumer issues in the online market place are both current enforcement priorities.”

[ACCC]


Comments

    I suppose we should all boycott these rotters for pulling that common stunt. Who needs Kogan?

      Lots of people buy from kogan so their scams are working

    Someone also needs to tell the ACCC about Steam and the raising of prices on there before the big discounts are applied.

      ACCC already knows. Part of their didpute with Valve over its customer service policy and previous non-refund policy was also pricing. Steam claims that they are an open market pkace and developers/publishers set prices.

      Someone needs to tell you that Valve Corporation (Steam's parent company) isn't Australian and therefore they can show the finger to the ACCC.

        But they're trading in Australia. You need to comply with local laws. We can still fine them. But then, ACCC tends to be rather toothless, so it's kind of a moot point.

          Actually, they are not trading in Australia. They are online, and trade in USD, not AUD.
          They do have region specific content, & hosting but that is still not actually an Australian business. Sorry - but with the internet, our laws are a wee bit behind on this one.

          Last edited 18/01/16 12:48 pm

            sorry steve f and themarvel2004, I think you are super confused. Facts help : https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/full-steam-ahead-accc-institutes-proceedings-against-valve-for-making-alleged-misleading-consumer-guarantee-representations

            actually read that and associated links, then comment.

            Consumer law applies to ALL sales to australian residents, whether the company is in the USA or Outer Mongolia. Valve is an identifiable foreign entity and subject to Australian law.

            ACCC is not toothless - its just fined Kogan, ay?

              I've replied with huge lists before of the millions accc has fined companies over the last few years but yeah for some reason people always call them toothless. Guess the ol saying ignorance breads hate might be true.

              How does that change my assertion that they can (and will) simply give the finger to our courts and the ACCC? At best they'll agree to some compliance for PR reasons, not because of anything else.

              Steam has already given the ACCC the finger. Go check out the recent article regarding this on Kotaku. So yes, they are toothless.

    what about furniture / carpet / jewelry retailers..? they have been doing that for years!!.. why pick on Kogan??

      Investigations typically start with complaints. And digital/online stores are muuuuuch easier to track pricing on.

      Although with the fines going around, I'd really hope that there would be a couple folks on payroll just looking at TV/radio/catalogue ads for specials and reviewing them against past pricing. But that's a LOT of businesses to cover if you go 'all of retail'.

        Exactly - if you see bad trading practices you actually need to complain to the ACCC, not just on gizmodo comments. I did that for a mobile premium scam recently. Then they act.

    How about the ACCC do some real work and go after those asshole petrol companies...

      The degree of unresearched whinging on this site never ceases to amaze me.
      They have staff that do exactly that.
      https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/petrol-diesel-lpg/about-fuel-prices
      https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/petrol-diesel-lpg/petrol-price-cycles
      https://www.accc.gov.au/regulated-infrastructure/fuel/acccs-fuel-monitoring-role
      etc etc etc.

      Last edited 18/01/16 2:58 pm

        Oh yeah, going real hard on those petrol companies, all that monitoring and press releases have them running scared, prices are plummeting as I type. You seem to be under the impression that useless, politically motivated activity to make yourself look busy and important and appear to be addressing serious public and consumer concerns is the same as actual results. It isn't.

          Can you expand on the ACCC's political motivations? I know the minister who issued the direction to the ACCC may have been politically motivated (as he is a politician), but as I understand it you're suggesting the ACCC itself is politically motivated.

          I don't know very much about their structure or jurisdictional limitations and would be really interested to learn more.

          Last edited 18/01/16 5:11 pm

            Oh c'mon, you only have to look at one of the links the guy above gave https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/petrol-diesel-lpg/petrol-price-cycles
            The Government promised "fuel watch" when prices were soaring and the political pain was great so they looked like they could actually control it, which then spent millions and delivered zero and then they made the ACCC waste time and money on this rubbish to continue pretending they can control it. No doubt a horde of overpaid bureaucrats exist to keep producing a website that boils down to "look, did you know petrol prices go up and down", "you should buy petrol on cheap days" and "look at this graph, did you know petrol went up before public holidays?" Total window dressing for zero results to serve a political outcome of pretending that they manage petrol prices.

          I understand that the petrol companies deliberately keep their manufacturing costs murky, so they can't be accurately compared and audited.

        They may have staff to do it but they're obviously not successful at it :(

        Prices per barrel of oil are the lowest in ages but fuel prices haven't budged.

      How bout do some real work and educate yourself

    This is a common tactic retailers have been using for years so it is good to see someone finally getting nailed for it.

    There are often dodgy retail prices on Kogan stuff (and other retailers obviously). I was checking the price on a Samsung 850 EVO drive and their supposed retail price was nearly double the price you'd pay in most PC shops. So their massive discount was in fact only a couple bucks. Saving $3 doesn't sound as good as saving $130 though.

    Note: I checked their current pricing and it's not on special so I can't quote the exact "savings" they had on it.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now