Online retailer Kogan has been ordered to pay $350,000 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after making false and misleading claims about its tax time promotions in 2018.
The promotion claimed to reduce the price of its products by 10 per cent by use of a code, TAXTIME, though in truth the business had increased over 600 products prices immediately prior.
“In many cases, consumers who used the promotional code to purchase these products paid the same as, or more than, they would have paid before or after the promotion,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“Consumers were not receiving a genuine 10 per cent discount as promised, and this affected high-value products such as Apple MacBooks, cameras and Samsung Galaxy mobile handsets.”
Justice Davis, who handed down the fine, said Kogan’s conduct was serious and harmed purchasers and consumer confidence.
“This decision sends a strong signal to businesses like Kogan, which regularly conduct online sales promotions, that they must not entice consumers to purchase products with a promise of discounts that are not genuine,” Sims said.
At the time Kogan said the profit gained was immaterial, and that the promotion was “implemented in order to allow customers access to lower prices than the prices that applied without the coupon or promotion,” without addressing its intentional increasing in those prices.
“At all times, the company has been focussed on making the most in-demand products and services more affordable and accessible for all Australians,” the business said.