By James Mowat, Australian Financial PressThe Australian Financial Reporter:This week, the ACCC announced new laws to clamp down on online shopping and to clampdown on misleading advertising and deceptive business practices.
The new regulations include:Making it illegal for businesses to offer products on its website for less than they actually cost (or for products that are marked as free)The new rules will apply to businesses that offer “direct marketing” and “indirect marketing” for the purpose of “misleading or deceptive conduct”, but the law does not apply to online shopping websites.
Under the laws, a business can’t offer “non-delivery” or “in-store” services such as in-store delivery, “pre-order” services or “online shopping” services to customers.
“The new laws will not only make it illegal to mislead customers, they will also make it an offence to offer misleading or deceptive advertising,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“These new measures are designed to ensure that the ACCCC is taking action against businesses who mislead customers.”
Mr Sims said the law will also apply to companies that make misleading advertising claims.
“In order to be compliant with the law, businesses must adhere to a strict, rigorous standard of conduct and to ensure they follow all relevant consumer laws,” he said.
The ACCC will begin enforcing the new laws at the end of September, but the new rules are not set to take effect until next year.
“As the ACCCs new rules take effect, businesses will need to consider whether they have complied with the requirements of the new regulations and their obligations under existing law,” Mr Sims said in a statement.
In a statement, the Department of Fair Trading said it was working with the ACCCM to ensure compliance with the new legislation.
“Our ACCC enforcement team has been in contact with ACCC staff to ensure their advice is up to date on the new ACCC laws,” the department said.
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