End of the road for Aussie GPS makers 'lifetime' claims

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End of the road for Aussie GPS makers 'lifetime' claims

After ACCC finds advertising potentially misleading.

Three of Australia's leading manufacturers of GPS navigation products have agreed to stop using potentially misleading ‘lifetime’ claims in their advertising following concerns from Australia’s consumer watchdog.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Watchdog (ACCC) said in a statement on Wednesday that TomTom, Navman and Garmin would remove the statements from all future advertising and marketing

It said each of the manufacturers had made “lifetime claims in marketing on their websites, on packaging and point-of-sale marketing, and in retailers’ catalogues and websites”.

The statements included ‘Lifetime TomTom Traffic’ from the likes of TomTom, and ‘Free Lifetime Maps & Traffic’ from Garmin.

But the ACCC determined the companies “retained the discretion to stop providing these services before the end of the lifetime of the device in certain circumstances”.

It said that this was “potentially false, misleading or deceptive” given that the “limitations were not communicated to consumers in a prominent way”.

“We believe the statements about ‘lifetime’ services made by these GPS manufacturers were inconsistent with what consumers would understand ‘lifetime’ to mean,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Consumers would have rightly expected to receive those services for the lifetime of the device, without the manufacturer being able to unilaterally terminate the commitment.

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