Wiggle fined for ACCC breach

Online retail behemoth Wiggle has been fined $12,600 by the ACCC after admitting its customer service staff "likely misled" Aussie customers about their consumer rights.
 
Wiggle has also provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC, admitting it likely breached the Australian Consumer Law.
 

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund when there has been a major problem with the product. This law applies to all businesses that sell products to consumers in Australia, including overseas based businesses,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said in a statement.

Wiggle’s customer service staff told some Australian customers who were trying to obtain a refund for faulty products that the company was not subject to Australian Consumer Law (ACL), as it is based in the United Kingdom. Its operatives directed the consumer to contact the manufacturer to seek resolution.

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In other cases, Wiggle would not provide a full refund for a faulty product, as the product had been used.

“It does not matter that Wiggle is based overseas or that the consumers had used the goods; the Australian Consumer Law still applies to faulty products,” Ms Rickard said.

“Statements by retailers which seek to limit or exclude the Australian consumer guarantees are misleading, and likely to contravene the Australian Consumer Law."

Ms Rickard also said it was also misleading for a retailer to tell the customer they must go to the manufacturer for a remedy when a product is faulty.  "Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to remedies from the business that sells them a faulty product,” Ms Rickard said.

The ACCC alleges that Wiggle’s website contained misleading information that said that only English and UK law applied to transactions made through the website. Wiggle has since amended this section of its website.

In its court-enforceable undertaking, Wiggle has agreed to implement an ACL compliance policy, as well as train its customer service staff in ACL compliance.

With: Bruce Newton

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