Router and networking group Netgear will begin offering refunds and support to customers who were told from June 2016 that they were not entitled to remedies for faulty products, according to the Australian consumer watchdog.
In a post on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website, the statutory body says that Netgear “incorrectly told customers” from June 2016 that they were not entitled to remedies for faulty products unless they bought a technical support contract, or the item was covered by Netgear’s manufacturer warranty.
The Australian Consumer Law offers rights and remedies that are often extra to what is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, and the ACCC has pulled companies up in the past for refusing to honour rights granted under the ACL.
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As a result of an action by the ACCC, Netgear has agreed to the following:
• Review all technical support contracts purchased between 1 July 2016 and the date of the undertaking and, where the Netgear product has had a failure and the consumer would have been entitled to an Australian Consumer Law (ACL) remedy for free, to provide that remedy as well as a full refund of the price of the technical support contract;
• Establish an Australian Consumer Rights webpage on its website within one month; and
• Establish a Consumer Hotline for Australian consumers who contacted Netgear technical support from 1 July 2016 in relation to a product which may have had an ACL failure that the consumer believes Netgear did not sufficiently address, and to review each complaint to determine whether the consumer is entitled to an ACL remedy and/or compensation.
Some Netgear products will also have their packaging altered to comply with section 102 of the ACL, which specifies precise wording for warranties with products.
The action against Netgear comes after an ACCC investigation found that Belkin had supplied some products with lifetime warranties, only to offer a warranty lasting five years. Belkin has since agreed to honour lifetime warranties for products affected.