Furniture Galore has been fined almost $20k having mislead consumers about advertised savings.
The Melbourne based furniture giant which goes by the slogan “why pay more elsewhere?” has paid three infringement notices totalling $19,800 and has been forced to provided an undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission promising to refrain from issuing misleading advertisments.
The offences, which occurred between July ’10 and Sept ’11, in its catalogues and radio ads, where the company implied goods were ‘on sale’ at reduced prices or that customers could make ‘savings’ below the usual selling price, when this was, in fact, not the case.
Furniture Galore admitted that it had not sold or genuinely offered those goods at the higher usual selling price for a reasonable amount of time immediately prior to publication or at all during the 16 months that the ad’s were in circulation.
Australian Consumer Law requires that representations about savings, reductions or discounts must reflect real and true savings for consumers.
The ACCC also warned retailers that retailers with misleading ads will face court action, if caught out.
“In the midst of the summer sales period this is a very timely reminder to all retailers that they must ensure that any advertised savings are genuine and not misleading or deceptive,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
“Two-price advertising is a powerful marketing tool designed to encourage consumers to make purchases during a sale period because the goods are cheaper than normal.”
“Retailers who overstate or misrepresent the value of savings offered to consumers during special sales or promotions risk financial penalties or court action by the ACCC.”
Furniture Galore is required to publish various corrective notices in all of its stores, on its website, in an industry magazine and the Herald Sun, which distributed inserts in its publicaiotn on behalf of the company.