Australia's competition regulator the ACCC has cracked down on PC and technology vendor Dell, accusing the company of misleading customers with regards to warranties.
Representatives from Dell Australia had allegedly told buyers of personal computers between January 2008 and May 2010 that it would only replace, refund or credit a customer for faulty goods if reported within 15 days of the product's purchase (invoice date).
The customer was also asked to wear shipping and transportation charges for faulty goods.
Customers were allegedly told that they would have to wear the cost or repair or replacement parts for any fault reported outside of Dell's "Express Warranty" period.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission noted that such practices fall afoul of sections 52 and 53(g) of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Dell Australia has subsequently signed up to an enforceable undertaking in which it agreed to:
- email all customers who purchase products directly from Dell in the next three years, and publish on the Dell website for a period of three years, a notice outlining the warranty rights of consumers.
- publish an advertisement notifying the public of the ACCC's investigation and inviting consumers to contact Dell if they wish to have their claims reassessed.
- upgrade its existing Trade Practices Compliance Program.
Dell Australia released a statement reaffirming that it "takes its commitment to providing quality products, services and support very seriously."
"Even one dissatisfied customers is one too many.
"We cooperated fully with the ACCC and will comply with the actions in the ACCC's undertaking.
"Dell Australia apologises to customers for any inconvenience caused."