The Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry Update Report was released on 8 June 2018. The report provides preliminary observations about northern Australian insurance markets drawn from our public consultation and information gathered from insurers, and an overview of the current focus of our inquiry.
The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from home builder Wisdom Properties Group Pty Ltd (Wisdom) to remove contract terms contained in its standard home building agreements which are unfair under the Australian Consumer Law.
From October 2008, Wisdom’s Home Building Agreement contained non-disparagement clauses that allowed it to control or prevent any public statements such as online reviews, made by customers about its services.
Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centres Pty Ltd (Jenny Craig) has paid $37,800 in penalties following the ACCC issuing three infringement notices for alleged false or misleading representations in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
From December 2017 to February 2018, Jenny Craig represented in television advertisements people could lose up to 10kg of weight for a $10 program fee, without adequately disclosing customers also had to purchase food at an additional cost.
The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Fitbit (Australia) Pty Limited (Fitbit) to amend information they provide to customers about their consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
From November 2016 to March 2017, Fitbit told customers that its warranty against faulty products was only available for one year. Fitbit also represented that faulty products would be only replaced for the remainder of the calendar year or 30 days, whichever was longer.
On 9 May 2018, the Government responded to the Review into Open Banking.
On 26 November 2017, the Australian Government announced the introduction of a consumer data right in Australia. The consumer data right will improve consumers’ ability to compare and switch between products and services. It will also encourage competition between service providers, leading not only to better prices for customers but also more innovative products and services.
The Federal Court has ordered Optus Internet Pty Ltd (Optus) to pay penalties of $1.5 million for making misleading representations to customers about their transition from Optus’ HFC network to the National Broadband Network (NBN).
From October 2015 to March 2017, Optus told around 14,000 of its customers that their services would be disconnected (in as little as 30 days in some cases), if they did not move to the NBN. Under the terms of its contract, Optus could not force disconnection within the timeframe it claimed.
More and more consumers are receiving higher-speed NBN plans and the 50Mbps plan now makes up 26 per cent of all NBN plans, up from just 4.6 per cent in December 2017.
The ACCC’s ninth quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report found the number of 50Mbps services being acquired from NBN Co increased from 158,959 to 989,360 in the quarter to 31 March 2018.
“Nearly one million customers are now using a plan with 50Mbps speeds. This is a remarkable shift in just three months,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
Following the Treasurer’s response to the Open Banking Review, the ACCC welcomes the introduction of a general data right for all consumers and $20 million in the Federal Budget over the next four years to oversee its implementation.
The consumer data right will enable customers to share their transaction, usage and product data with service competitors and comparison services, if they choose to do so.