Foxtel have recently come under fire from the ACCC for television and website advertisements during the period of 12 February 2012 – 5 April 2012 wherein they offered a free 22 inch television to be given to customers who signed up to a 12 month Foxtel subscription, within ten days of installation. Certain advertising stated that the offer was limited to 1,500 free televisions but 8,400 consumers signed up to the offer. More than half of these consumers received the free television within the stipulated ten day time frame, but a significant number of consumers did not receive the gift within the promised period.
Foxtel Management Pty Ltd provided to the ACCC, a court enforceable undertaking following the allegations that Foxtel had breached sections 18, 32(2) and 36(4) of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) with this free television offer.
Foxtel has undertaken to give a one month subscription credit to consumers, by 15 July 2013, who:
* signed up to the free television offer during the relevant period;
* did not receive the free television with ten business days of installation; and
* still had a Foxtel subscription as at 1 May 2013.
Additionally, Foxtel has undertaken to:
* report to the ACCC by 15 August 2013, the number of customers eligible for the subscription credit and those who received the subscription credit;
* appoint a qualified compliance professional to identify, assess and provide recommendations relating to possible breaches of the ACL within Foxtel’s business; and
* refrain from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
The maximum penalty for breaches of the relevant ACL provisions is $1.1 million.
In a statement from ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, it was said by him that “it is important for businesses to have a reasonable basis for any promises made to consumers otherwise they risk breaching the Australian Consumer Law.”
This is consistent with the enforcement action taken last year by the ACCC in relation to ‘bait advertising’ wherein Zamel’s Jewelers were targeted for representing inaccurate ‘savings’ claims in their advertising and were ordered to pay a $250,000 pecuniary penalty and to issue a retracted advertisement.
If you require further information please contact Attwood Marshall Lawyers on 1800 621 071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.