16th Mar 2017

ACCC to seek tougher penalties on big business

ACCC to seek tougher penalties on big business
Drew Patchell

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims says that the watchdog intends to seek tougher penalties on big business for malpractice and false advertising.

Mr Sims said that he was puzzled at how some big businesses treated customers "so badly and with so little respect" and signalled the maximum $1.1 million penalty per breach as not being a sufficient deterrent.

The ACCC is currently investigating the difficulties consumers face when trying to exercise their consumer guarantee rights in the new car market and plan to examine the limitations on refunds for inflexible fares in the airline industry.

Another target is the inaccuracy of advertised broadband speeds to consumers.

The ACCC already has court cases for various alleged malpractices involving several big businesses such as Heinz, Volkswagen and Kimberley-Clark and Pental.

What do you think? Should the ACCC be pushing for tougher penalties? Should more resources be diverted towards keeping big business in line?

Read more at news.com.au
Read more at smh.com.au

Related articles:
Nurofen fined $6 million for furphy
ACCC inquiry into internet speeds
ACCC fines Telstra


To make a comment, please register or login
16th Mar 2017
What about after you've bought the new car, and the "software" needs to be updated. We have an Isuzu Mux and the gearbox temp light flashed on. I was told by the dealer " yep, we know about that...you need to bring it in for us to connect it to the computer, upgrade the software, do a procedure called a flush, which doesn't involve a change of oil, and update the software. And by the way that will cost you $150!"
Imagine if I bought a lap top and had to pay for updates every time it needed it!
The car industry is a bunch of crooks and need regulation!
16th Mar 2017
The ACCC is worse than useless! We are being gouged on petrol pricing in North Queensland by all of the oil companies and the ACCC refused to investigate properly and threw out our concerns. Just one more Government organisation full of public servants who get paid a fortune to do nothing!!!!
Old Geezer
16th Mar 2017
I never have to pay for upgrades on the software in my car.
24th Mar 2017
That doesn't mean other people haven't. I just disconnect my computer now and then, let it run down and then reset. I do primarily highway driving and it has this fuel control system that matches your driving style for optimum fuel usage.

Never had a problem so far with any computerised system in a vehicle. My Ford Territory runs around 10l/100km on highway - not bad compared to around town at something like 13/100.
Old Man
16th Mar 2017
Australians are being taken for a ride by big companies when we are compared to the rest of the world. The US has a Lemon law which means that if a car has too many faults it is replaced. What we get is excuse after excuse until the warranty runs out. Airlines everywhere, except Australia, give compensation when flights are cancelled regardless of the reason.

The worst item to do with vehicles is the inbuilt navigation system. Chances are that it is years out of date on purchase and when an update is available it's hand in the pocket time. Our Satnav cost less than $200 and has free updates which can be done on our PC. Why don't car companies have a chip similar to a memory stick inbuilt which can be removed and updated at home?
16th Mar 2017
Or perhaps it could be included FOC in the regular servicing or at rego time?
18th Mar 2017
Agree, KSS, that would be so simple to include it with service!
16th Mar 2017
Is it really stricter rules and higher penalties we need or just more application of the rules and penalties we already have?
16th Mar 2017
Personally, I believe the problem to be the lack of application of the rules, and that goes across everything we have in our society. Governments make laws and then the courts refuse to implement them. We see that with all levels of juvenile crime, and even murderers generally serve much less than 20 years.
16th Mar 2017
Damned if they do and damned if they dont
Not Senile Yet!
16th Mar 2017
Dear Drew....Article writer!
When writing articles of this nature.....you really need to do more research mate!
The ACCC has been obliterated by DOWNSIZING by Budget Cuts which sverely restrict capacity to pursue anyone and what about the LNP deliberately De-Regulation implementation Policies.
Self Regulation has a long history of abuse by Corporations deliberately flaunting Laws with extremely smart accounting using loopholes in the Law to dodge accountability!
Do not blame undermanned and underscourced ACCC for what the LNP has allowed to undermine it's ability to pursue anyone!
The core issue here is a Government campaign to open up our system and Laws to unscrupulous Corporate Greed by removing the ability to Regulate anyone!
The ACCC has in effect been handcuffed by downsizing of staff under the banner of No Longer Needed and their Funding continuosly CUT!
MORE POWER TO ACT....without Government Control via Budget Cuts....is a very serious bone of contention!
2 people cannot do what 10 people can!
Both big parties over the last 20yrs have decimated the ACCC by stealth by......Budget cuts....De-Regulation....and it has been deliberate!
Time for them to Own Up and stop lying!
18th Mar 2017
Where has the ACCC been? Rod Sims should try and list all the extra powers & resources he needs and then challenge the Political masters to back him, not just talk big like his predecessors - we need visible action and results!
16th Mar 2017
Old Geezer...What is your point about you never having to pay for software upgrades?
Is it:
1) that you are better able to argue with the Dealer.
2) You have a different car?
3) You didn't need a software upgrade.
4) Software upgrades shouldn't be chargeable.
5) You simply like being contrary.
6) You are a troll and have nothing better to do with your time that be argumentative.
Old Geezer
16th Mar 2017
Yes I have had quite a few software updates since I bought the car a couple of years ago. Been sent a letter regarding a free update but it will add to the complexity of the car so I have been putting I off. Must admit I have had fun with the CBus system and have even hooked up a laptop to see if I can change things with it. If I had to pay for someone to do the updates I think I'd try and get them myself and do it myself now I know how to access the car's computer.

I'll admit to looking at the MUX but decided to buy another brand that was more suitable to my needs. OK I bought a Jeep and so glad I did. Also the dealer has been great and gone beyond what many others dealers do.
16th Mar 2017
Stoff , nailed it !!
Old Geezer
16th Mar 2017
Ha ha Stoff will need to remove that nail now as it is in the wrong place.
16th Mar 2017
Well, Old Geezer, you've still missed the point.
It's not about your experience! It's about the various car manufacturers needing to stop gouging the public.
Also the software change is for the gearbox, not the engine, and none of the manufacturers will release the software for an amateur to install. OBD2 scanners are not for updating software.
If Jeep allow you to update their software then I wouldn't like to be a passenger in your car. Or expect any warranty to be honoured.
The point was that it should done for nothing BY EVERY MANUAFACTURER hence the title of the article "ACCC to target big business".....for unconscionable behaviour.
I don't know why I have wasted my time posting on this forum, it is dominated by a few people who always want to turn the forums into politics. They spoil the forums to satisfy their own agenda.
Old Geezer
16th Mar 2017
I have nothing to do with politics at all. All I was saying was that they have done all my software updates for free and if your car was still under warranty your update should have been free to as it was fault found under warranty. Yes I know my stuff as I learn the rules before I play their games so that I have at least an even chance.

Today had a pump fail and as it had a 4 year warranty it was still under warranty. They have sent me a full refund so that I can buy a replacement. That's they way warranties should be. None of this blame stuff when things don't work as they should.
16th Mar 2017
Old Geezer, your reply has made my point. You can't help yourself!
18th Mar 2017
The level of lying in advertisements (e.g. Vita gummies - contain next to no vitamins, but do have heaps of sugar) is reaching appalling levels. I find it hard to believe that a real estate agent will get you $200,000 more for your house. And recent stories on the news demonstrate that if you are hurt at work, and you are a casual employee - your insurance for the injury is completely worthless. And the list goes on and on.

The consumer law appears sound but the ACCC is hopelessly under resourced, and far too many companies are flouting their consumer law responsibilities because there appears little chance of being busted. And even when caught, the fines don't offer enough of a disincentive. Why not consider offering a product and then abjectly failing to deliver it fraud? That might get their attention.
24th Mar 2017
I'd rather a full review of accounting opportunities and practices be undertaken. but that's a different story.

Tags: accc, business, news

Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles