I get the impression that our consumer authorities only act on a minority of complaints.
I lodged a complaint to ACCC at the end of December 2018 after - a couple of months beforehand - being incentivised by a Bonds promise of a 40% discount and placing an online order on the Bonds website.
Per the below screen shot taken at the time (to which I have added arrows indicating the elements of contention), the order confirmation screen reflected Bonds’ promise of 40% off the price for purchasing four items. However, the applied discount amount was 25% rather than 40%. The promise and confirmation of a 40% discount were false and misleading.
I formally reported this to Bonds in early November, followed by a couple of letters confirming same, and received no acknowledgement, follow-up or resolution from Bonds.
I lodged a complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria in March this year responding to the prompt: “how do you want your problem solved” with:
I would like Bonds to:
- Acknowledge their error
- Provide me with a refund covering the discount shortfall
- Compensate other impacted customers and
- Commit to ensuring their online shopping application is rectified to prevent a recurrence
I haven’t received any response from ACCC or Consumer Affairs Victoria.
The amount in dispute is small for me but one wonders about the total amount of loss across all impacted consumers for that 40% discount promotion.
Today I logged a complaint with ACCC about the website of company: Australian NaturalCare - https://www.ausnaturalcare.com.au/ - which makes a misleading claim about the products being sold on the site being manufactured in Australia by virtue of a kangaroo icon with the words: “Manufactured in Australia” in the website banner. There is no qualification of this claim provided in the banner.
(The red arrow in the top of the following screen shot was applied by me.)
The fact that only the vitamins and not other products sold on the site are manufactured in Australia is buried in the detail and is not readily apparent to the consumer. To access the detail, the user either has to:
click on the ‘Manufactured in Australia’ link, which navigates to a page about supplements on the site. Given the focus of the page is supplements, this loosely infers that the claim applies to supplements but omits any clarification that the claim does not apply to other products sold on the site.
drill down to the details for another product and then expand the ‘Information’ accordion control. Again the country of manufacture is not included in the product summary nor product description. Only the description section of the accordion control is automatically expanded on navigation to the page.
(The yellow highlights in the following screen shots were applied by me.)
I called Australian Naturalcare on 21-Nov-2019 complaining about this issue and it appears they’ve added the Country of Manufacture line item to the Information panel as a result.
The information shown after clicking on the Information accordion control to expand the Information panel:
However, I don’t believe the company’s action is sufficient to address the misleading overarching claim on the site. ACCC would probably agree but I have no confidence that they will ever address this issue.