ACCC forces company to refund misled businesses

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken action against Business Pages for misleading businesses over the cost of a standard listing in its online directory.

Melbourne-based Business Pages widely circulated an application form to Australian businesses in October last year, inviting them to take out a listing in its online business directory.

The form provided a number of 'tick the box' listing options in addition to the standard listing. Each additional option had a price next to it, ranging from $49 to $199, but there was no price beside the standard listing.

The only mention of the standard listing, which cost $1449 a year for a minimum of two years, was embedded in fine print at the bottom of the application.

ACCC's chairman, Graeme Samuel said in a media statement that all consumers, individuals or businesses, need to be informed in a clear and transparent manner about the cost of services and goods being offered.

"It is unacceptable for costs to be concealed in fine print, obscured or not be readily apparent. Knowing the cost of doing business is a fundamental consumer right," he said.

Finding the form to be in breach of the Trade Practices Act, the commission, has ordered Business Pages to cease using the misleading application form and send a letter to all businesses that signed up any time from October last year.

The letter needs to clearly point out all the costs and to ask businesses to return a signed consent, stating that they were not misled and that they wish to remain on the directory.

If businesses do not return a signed consent they will be removed from the directory and receive a refund.

Samuel said the ACCC receives a number of complaints involving misleading advertising, but that those related to e-business are more insidious than hard-copy advertising.

"Because of the ubiquitous nature of e-business, material reaches out to a far greater number of people so the propensity to be misled is greatly increased," he said.

The ACCC was unable to immediately provide exact numbers of the businesses that have been or may have been misled.

Business Pages was unable to be contacted for a response.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dahna McConnachie

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?