Trader pays infringement notice over alleged false building association membership claims

6 October 2010

ACA Constructions Pty Ltd, trading as Roll Away Shutters, has paid an infringement notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

On 26 July 2010 the ACCC issued the notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe the trader was falsely claiming on its website that it was a member of the Master Builders Association and the Housing Industry Association.

The ACCC considered that the trader's conduct contravened section 53(d) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 which prohibits companies representing they have a sponsorship, approval or affiliation they do not have.

ACA Constructions paid the $6,600 penalty within the time allowed for payment, so no further action will be taken.

"Building improvements and renovations are a significant expense and membership of industry associations may be a factor which influences consumer and business decisions," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said today.

"Traders should not make false membership or industry claims as they risk contravening the Act."

Under powers which came into effect in April 2010, the ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice as an alternative to the institution of court proceedings.

Once an infringement notice penalty is paid, the ACCC cannot begin court proceedings over the alleged contravention. The payment of an infringement notice penalty is not an admission of a contravention of the Act.

Mr Samuel said infringement notices increase the remedies available to the ACCC to quickly address conduct of concern and promote compliance.

Information about the ACCC's powers to issue infringement, substantiation and public warning notices is available via: www.accc.gov.au/notices

The ACCC maintains a public register of infringement notice payments received available at https://www.accc.gov.au/public-registers/infringement-notices

Links

Release number: 
NR 214/10
ACCC Infocentre: 

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Media enquiries: 
Ms Lin Enright - (02) 6243 1108
Mr Graeme Samuel - (03) 9290 1812