Booktopia fined $6 million for falsely stating customers' rights
Australia's largest online book store Booktopia has been hit with a $6 million fine for making false statements about customers' rights regarding its refund policy.
Booktopia's online terms of business told customers they were only entitled to a refund, repair or replacement if they notified the company within two business days of receiving a product that was faulty or not what they ordered, between at least January 2020 and November 2021.
The terms of business also said consumers were not entitled to a refund for digital products such as eBooks for any reason, including if the product was faulty.
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Booktopia has further admitted to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) it told 19 customers it did not have an obligation to provide a refund or replacement if the consumer had not notified Booktopia within two business days of delivery, even if the product was faulty.
The Federal Court has today ordered Booktopia Pty Ltd to pay $6 million in penalties for the statements.
"Consumers are entitled to return faulty products within a reasonable time and receive a refund, repair, or replacement, depending on the nature of the fault," ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.
Australian Consumer Law dictates that a consumer is entitled to a refund or replacement, or may request a repair, within a reasonable timeframe if something they bought has a major fault.
"We do not know how many consumers may have been deterred from seeking a refund or replacement by Booktopia's misleading representations on its website," Carver said.
The court also ordered Booktopia to publish a notice on its website correcting the false or misleading claims and to establish a consumer law compliance program.
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