Computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) has been slapped with a lawsuit in the Australian federal courts for allegedly misleading customers with deceptive conduct relating to warranties and consumer rights.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in statement released Tuesday, claimed HP breached Australian Consumer Law when it made misleading representations to customers about product repair eligibility and warranty periods.
ACCC alleged HP told customers that broken or faulty devices such as laptops, computers and printers may only be "remedied" at HP's sole discretion.
HP customers allegedly could not get a replacement for faulty devices until it had been repaired multiple times by the computer giant. Moreover, returns or exchanges of HP products bought at the official online store were only allowed at the vendor's discretion.
"The court orders the ACCC is seeking include declarations, injunctions, civil pecuniary penalties, disclosure orders, adverse publicity orders, non-party redress for consumers affected by HP's conduct, the implementation of a compliance program and costs," the ACCC said.
If found guilty, HP could be fined up to $1.1 million under Australian consumer protection laws and could be subjected to injunctions as well as corrective advertising orders.
HP will face off ACCC in court on 7 December.
HP has yet to comment on the matter.
"The Australian Consumer Law provides consumers with rights to certain remedies from retailers and manufacturers, when goods fail to comply with the consumer guarantee provisions of the ACL, including that the goods are of acceptable quality and fit for the purpose for which they were sold," the ACCC said.
"If a good is not, for example, of acceptable quality consumers may be entitled to a refund or a replacement item. These rights cannot be excluded, restricted or modified."
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