A serious (back, neck, headache) pain for Nurofen

You might recall that last year Reckitt Benckiser (maker of Nurofen) was done for misleading consumers about its Nurofen pain specific product range because, what do you know, all of the products are exactly the same.

Well, it's now been fined $1.7 million (although the ACCC wanted $6 million).

We reckon Reckitt got a massive bargain. Compare $45M revenue from the pain specific products with a $1.7M fine and see who you think won. Our money's on the ACCC appealing for a bigger penalty.

Woolworths whopped for dodgy goods

Woolworths copped a $3 million fine for making misleading representations in relation to the safety and suitability of its home brand household items. Those items included a deep fryer that had weak handles, a drain cleaner with a faulty childproof lid (both of which caused severe burns to adults and children), safety matches that selfignited, a padded flop chair and a folding stool (that were found not to be able to bear the weight as listed).

Woolworths knew about some of the injuries but didn't recall the products before further injuries took place. It also didn't comply with mandatory reporting requirements to the ACCC.

It goes without saying that Aldi is and always will be number one in our hearts.

Unfair terms driven away

In an ACCC industry shakeup, Europcar was recently ordered to pay $100,000 and say au revoir to a number of unfair terms from its rental agreements. The terms, for example, held customers liable for damage to rental vehicles even when they weren't at fault.

To further add insult to injury, Europcar was also found to have made misleading statements regarding the excess payable in its "extra" insurance cover.

Hertz has also been affected by the ACCC's pursuit of the car rental industry, giving an enforceable undertaking to the ACCC to refund customers that it misled in relation to repair costs for damaged vehicles. In essence, Hertz had charged customers for damage that was preexisting and was not passing on repair discounts to customers. Naughty naughty.

The war on telcos continues

More on unfair contract terms, Exetel has agreed to compensate consumers for a term in its broadband agreements that allowed Exetel to vary any part of the agreement for any reason.

Oregano fraud shock

Oregano is a much misrepresented herb. Weed dealers have been selling dried oregano to school kids for generations. Now, in a shock revelation from Choice, it appears that a substantial proportion of retail dried oregano is actually dried olive or sumac. Travesty.

The retail food and groceries markets are hot. The supermarkets are superpowerful, price wars are rife. Don't be tempted by a quick (and dodgy) fix. Check your ingredients. Check your labelling. Check your ads. Or y'oregano be in trouble.