Competition and Consumer act (2010)
- According to the Competition and Consumer act (2010), there is a legal right for consumers. It remain supportive to offer the guidelines regarding how the firm should deal with the competitors, suppliers and customers and the legal actions which can be taken by the consumers (Pearson, 2017). Under this law, firm offers guarantee to the consumers to ensure the customers to offer the rights regarding damage or broken products and the product which is not performing effectively. So, in the context of this case, Lin can take legal action on the basis of defect in the air-conditioner. Moreover, it is identified that the product was contributing to global warming however Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd has claimed that it is eco-friendly air-conditioner due to which, Lin has purchased the product however it was not completely eco-friendly product (Liu, et al., 2014). So, in this perspective, it is identified that Lin has problem with the air-conditioner as there was a defect in the product as well as it has ruined Tiwi Islands painting worth over $2,000. At the same time, she comes to know that that the AC although create less greenhouse impact but still it contains a fluorocarbon gas called R407C. In this case, both Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd and ANCO Ltd are responsible and Lin has legal right to sue them in the court under CCA. At the same time, there is a remedy of getting the product repair, replace or refund under CCA.
- Although the chances of defence is low in this case as it is clear that Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd and ANCO Ltd has not shown right practices. Both the firms can offer the satisfactory services to Lin for the defect by replacing the product. Moreover, there is a need of refunding the money for the painting which was spoil due to water dripping from the unit. At the same time, as Lin wants to purchase eco-friendly AC, so there is a need of replacing the AC and to offer her the AC which can produce reduced carbon emissions (Nepal, Menezes, & Jamasb, 2014). Taking this action will enable both the firms to eliminate the chances of any legal action and can defence the firm. However, firm can utilize section 76A for defence as this law remains supportive to offer defence in the case of statuary defence for reasonable mistake (Wardle, et al., 2014). The AC sold by the firm was producing fluorocarbon gas (R407C), however this gas is less harmful for the environment and the same thing was committed by the firm. At the same time, for the defect and loss of painting, firm can do replacement and can pay the fine.
- There is a huge prospect of Lin’s success as the overall situation is in the favour of Lin. In the context of above case, under CCA (2010), Lin can take legal action against Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd and ANCO Ltd on the basis of following act:
- Section 29, 155: This section can be applied by Lin for false or misleading information about the eco-friendly product. Lin can apply this section on Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd and ANCO Ltd. Under this act there should be fine of up to 20 penalty units or up to 12 months imprisonment (ACC,n.a.).
- Section 87B: Under this section, Lin can claim Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd and ANCO Ltd. to pay the fine.
- Other consumers can also have a cause of action against Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd and ANCO Ltd as the misleading practices of the firm has also impacted them. They are also impacted from the firm activity of false commitment for increasing the sales of the firm as well as Bing’s Appliances Pty Ltd was focused towards reflecting the discount offers to the consumers to attract them. Due to this reason, this firm was not utilizing fair practices so the consumers have right to get remedies of refund, replacement or penalty on the product which was sold to them on the behalf of misleading information (Ison, Merkert, & Mulley, 2014).
- If there is a breach of section 29 of the Consumer Law, then there would be a likely penalty of up to $1,100,000 which will be applicable on both the firms separately due to misleading representations of the air-conditioner in the context of less carbon emission and discount offer.
In this context, the case of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Bunavit Pty Ltd  FCA 6 can be taken. Under this case, Bunavit Pty Ltd was ordered to pay the penalty of $52,000 under the sections of 18 and 29 due to misleading representations in the context of consumer guarantee rights as the firm’s staff members has represented misleading representations of the guarantee (Davies Collison Cave, 2017). Moreover, this case has supported to analyse that if Bunavit assisted the consumer and paid some or all of the cost of the repair regarding the defective goods then the chances of this penalty can be eliminated.
ACC (n.a.) Fines and Penalties. [Online] Available at: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/business-rights-protections/fines-penalties (Accessed at: 28 September, 2017).
Davies Collison Cave (2017). Australian consumer law update: ACCC cases targeting false or misleading representations. [Online] Available at: http://www.davies.com.au/ip-news/australian-consumer-law-update-accc-cases-targeting-false-or-misleading-rep (Accessed at: 28 September, 2017).
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Wardle, J. J., Weir, M., Marshall, B., & Archer, E. (2014). Regulatory and legislative protections for consumers in complementary medicine: lessons from Australian policy and legal developments. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 6(4), 423-433.