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Consumer watchdog chases HP for allegedly misleading Aussie consumers.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against HP Australia, alleging it of “misleading” consumers and retailers about product warranties.

Hewlett Packard is accused of engaginging in “misleading or deceptive conduct” by making false claims to consumers in relation to their statutory warranty and guarantee rights, the watchdog confirmed today.

The PC giant is believed to have provided consumers with limited product warranties and options when a product was faulty, and denying them a replacement.

The HP products in question were laptops, desktop PC’s and printers, an ACCC spokesperson confirmed to SmartHouse

HP OZ is believed to have told consumers a faulty product had to be repaired multiple times before they were entitled to a replacement. 

It’s also believed HP has charged consumers for repairs after the company began limiting or shortening its product warranties, which is an offence under Aussie consumer law.

Consumers could also not return or exchange HP products purchased from its Online Store, unless agreed by the company at its sole discretion. It is not known what HP products were affected by the alleged dodgy practices.

HP also is accused of deceiving retailers, by claiming it was not liable to indemnify them if they provided consumers with a refund or replacement, without HP’s prior authorisation.

If found guilty, the already troubled Palo Alto giant could be force to pay a heavy penalty – as much as $1.1 million – as well as compensate consumers affected by their alleged misleading conduct.

 

HP OZ is a wholly owned subsidiary of US owned Hewlett-Packard.

Australian Consumer Law provides that if a good is not of acceptable quality, consumers may be entitled to a refund or a replacement. These rights cannot be excluded, restricted or modified, the ACCC warned today.

There will be a scheduling conference on the case on 7 December next.

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