The Federal Court at Adelaide has ordered an office supplies reseller to stop allegedly tricking customers into buying printer cartridges and falsely claiming secondhand cartridges were new.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) laid charges against South Australian reseller Globex Systems in December last year for alleged violations of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Globex directors Warren and David Skry and two former employees, Emma Gourlay and Claire Trobe, were also charged, the ACCC said in a statement.
The ACCC said the Federal Court at Adelaide had declared that Globex, its directors and the two staff had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false representations regarding its products and sales to various parties.
"It was alleged they had represented that businesses and primary schools in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland had agreed to buy from Globex cleaning products or cartridges," the ACCC said.
The watchdog said it had received some 70 complaints and inquiries about Globex and its direct marketing telesales practices.
Globex had claimed certain cartridges were new when they had actually been refilled and had further been asserting it had a right to be paid for goods the customer had not asked for, the ACCC alleged.
"Globex admitted it had made representations to an association in NSW in February 2005 that the association had ordered ink cartridges, had entered into a purchase agreement with Globex and was required to take delivery of the cartridges when those representations were untrue," the ACCC said.
The Federal Court at Adelaide had made several injunctions restraining Globex, its directors and the two staff from the allegedly misleading and deceptive behaviour.
Globex must also publish a notice "acknowledging its conduct" in certain state dailies and the Australian newspaper within 21 days, the ACCC said.
The ACCC said Globex was also being forced to participate in a Trade Practices compliance program and pay the ACCC's costs.