Feeds

HP prosecuted by Australian consumer regulator

Tough warranty conditions alleged to mislead and deceive punters

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the nation's guardian of consumer rights and regulator of competition and consumer law, has commenced legal action against HP over its warranty and repair practices.

The ACCC is upset with HP for five reasons, namely:

  • The remedies available for a faulty HP product were limited to remedies available from HP at its sole discretion;
  • Consumers must have had a faulty HP product repaired multiple times by HP before they were entitled to receive a replacement;
  • The warranty period for HP products was limited to a specified express warranty period;
  • Following the expiration of an express warranty period, HP would repair faulty HP products on the condition that consumers pay for such repairs
  • Consumers could not return or exchange HP products purchased from the HP Online Store, unless otherwise agreed by HP at its sole discretion.

Those actions, the ACCC believes, are in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law's provisions that insist businesses tell the truth about their warranty obligations and consumers' rights to receive replacement products. The ACCC has wide powers and is wielding several against HP, with its statement about the case saying it will seek several remedies, including:

  • Declarations;
  • Injunctions;
  • Civil pecuniary penalties;
  • Disclosure orders;
  • Adverse publicity orders;
  • Non-party redress for consumers affected by HP’s conduct;
  • The implementation of a compliance program; and
  • Costs.

If the ACCC wins the case, which will kick off on December 7th, HP will therefore have to pay damages, take out ads apologising for its conduct and get its house in order regarding warranties and how they are communicated to punters.

The case will be heard in Australia's Federal Court, the lowest court that hears matters pertaining to laws made by the Parliament of Australia. Appeal is possible to the Full Bench of the Court and then, under limited circumstances, to the High Court.

HP told The Reg, in a canned statement sent by a spokesperson, that “HP takes seriously the matters raised by the ACCC and will fully investigate and respond appropriately.” ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.