Breast Check in trouble for not checking breasts

Breast Check Pty Ltd was fined $75,000 (and its director $25,000) for advertising that its  breast imaging services could scientifically determine whether someone was at risk of  developing or having breast cancer, and that they were an adequate substitute for  mammograms. 

The Court found that Breast Check’s claims were without a proper scientific basis and  that they had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.

Thankfully, Breast Check no longer provides services for breast imaging. 

Another company, Safe Breast Imaging Pty Ltd, suffered the same fate last month for  similar offences. It copped a $200,000 fine. The ACCC has been particularly ferocious  on dodgy medical claims of late.

On the topic of breast checking

We’re told that the ACCC has, as part of an international campaign, been performing a  crackdown on dating websites for misleading and unfair terms. 

The ACCC is concerned that the fine print on dating websites is causing people to be  drawn into ongoing contracts, when they thought they were simply getting a free trial.

Our advice, better check those T’s & C’s on your Tinder app. 

ACCC on the heels of daily deals

After its success in taking on Scoopon last year – who were fined $1 million for making  false and misleading claims – the ACCC has now set its sights on Spreets. We all know  how annoying those daily deal emails can be (no, my teeth do not need whitening thank  you very much), but what you may not know is some of the offers being made by the  deal sites are in breach of the law.

Even though Spreets, which is owned by Yahoo!7, has since changed its business  model, the ACCC is pursuing it for making false or misleading representations in 2011  and 2012. The misleading conduct related to the price of deals (hidden costs), the  purchaser’s ability to redeem their vouchers and their entitlement to a refund under  consumer law. One such example was a woman who bought a voucher for a Spa salon  that had an expiry date in one year’s time. She tried to book an appointment with the  salon, but there was no availability until after the expiry date and Spreets refused to give  her a refund. 

The case will most likely be decided next year. In the meantime remember that if it  seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Maggie Beer in the freezer

Maggie Beer, the hipster-gourmet burnt fig and honeycomb ice cream producer (among  other things) was investigated recently by the ACCC for making representations on a  number of its product labels that its goods were manufactured in the Barossa Valley in  South Australia, when they were actually produced in Victoria and, OMG, Queensland.  An obvious example is the Maggie Beer logo which states “Maggie Beer A Barossa  Food Tradition”. Apparently, South Australia is cooler than we thought and consumers  want their money’s worth!

Maggie Beer has acknowledged that its conduct was likely in breach of consumer law  and has given an enforceable undertaking to amend its labels, undertake a review of its  consumer law compliance procedures and publish an article in Food Magazine.

Not ideal PR for Beer, whose daughter, Beer junior, was also required to give an  enforceable undertaking this year for representations her food company made regarding  the breed of pig that was used in its Black-Pig smallgoods. After a struggle, we've  resisted the beer puns temptation.

Optus may say “Yes”, but Telstra says “No”

Everyone’s favourite telco, Telstra, has cooperated with an ACCC investigation into  complaints that Telstra staff misled consumers to believe that they were not entitled to  refunds, replacements, or repairs on their faulty mobile phones.

Consumers cannot under Australian law sign away their rights and suppliers cannot limit  consumer guarantees, for example by refusing to replace a faulty product. The ACCC  was concerned that Telstra staff were not conveying this message. 

Telstra has agreed to provide training for its staff on consumer rights and guarantees.  Telstra will also provide signage and information in store and maintain a consumer  guarantee webpage. Also, Jess Mauboy says sorry.