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The ACCC has issued proceedings in the Federal Court against Thermomix In Australia Pty Ltd (Thermomix), alleging it contravened several provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in relation to its Thermomix appliances.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued Federal Court proceedings against Meriton Property Services Pty Ltd, trading as “Meriton Serviced Apartments’ (Meriton), alleging that Meriton deliberately prevented particular customers from being given the opportunity to provide reviews of their services on TripAdvisor.
The revised Franchising Code of Conduct, which commenced on 1 January 2015, requires franchisors to disclose their officers’ relevant business experience and allows for financial penalties of up to $54,000 for serious breaches. These amendments were introduced to ensure the protection of small businesses – whose owner’s life savings are often on the line.
A Court enforceable undertaking offered by EasyMeals to the ACCC demonstrates that businesses which advertise food and health products to consumers must be vigilant to avoid making misleading claims about the health benefits of their products.
The Federal Court recently handed down a fine of $3.55 million to a franchisor, as well as individual fines to the directors and company officeholders, who were found to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. The severity of these penalties highlights the importance of ensuring disclosure documents and franchise agreements are factually accurate and compliant with the Franchising Code of Conduct. Failure to comply can result in heavy penalties being imposed on both the franchisor and the individuals involved.