The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today kicked off legal action in the Federal Court against several Harvey Norman franchisees around the country, alleging that the stores in question violated and misrepresented consumer rights and warranty entitlements. Is your local store one of them?
This story has been updated since it was first published in November 2012. Scroll down for the latest updates.
The ACCC has a bee in its collective bonnet at the moment when it comes to violations of the Australian Consumer Law. Harvey Norman franchisees are the latest to be hit by the crusade.
Here's the list of stores:
• Avitalb Pty Limited, Albany, WA • Bunavit Pty Limited, Bundall, QLD • Camavit Pty Limited, Campbelltown, NSW • Gordon Superstore Pty Limited, Gordon, NSW • HP Superstore Pty Limited, Hoppers Crossing, VIC • Ipavit Pty Limited, Ipswich, QLD • Launceston Superstore Pty Limited, Launceston, TAS • Mandurvit Pty Limited, Mandurah, WA • Moonah Superstore Pty Limited, Moonah, TAS • Oxteha Pty Limited, Oxley, QLD • Salecomp Pty Limited, Sale, VIC
These stores are being accused of a multitude of ACL breaches between them, including allegedly claiming that they didn't have to provide assistance to those with damaged goods unless they responded within a certain time frame, allegedly claiming they didn't have to touch faulty goods still covered by a manufacturer warranty and even allegedly charging customers for the return and repair of faulty goods.
Today the ACCC rebooted its legal action against 10 of the 11 franchisees -- Ipavit Pty Limited has since been deregistered -- after the court said that the issues should all be heard separately.
The ACCC said in a release today:
the Court determined that each matter was unrelated and should be heard separately, and that only the proceedings against Harvey Norman Gordon Superstore Pty Ltd in New South Wales could continue in these initial proceedings.
As a result, the ACCC has instituted new separate proceedings against each of nine franchisees that were removed from the initial proceedings. The ACCC has not issued new proceedings against Ipavit Pty Limited in Queensland as it was deregistered as a company on 19 November 2012.
Legal stuff takes time, unfortunately.
Picture by Richard Kendall/Getty Images