Pandora slips up on consumer rights

By Sarah Stowe | 22 Mar 2019 View comments

Jewellery franchise chain Pandora admits it may have misled shoppers about their consumer guarantee rights.

The firm has acknowledged it could have breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and gave the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) a court-enforceable undertaking to review its consumer rights policies and staff training.

Customers complained to the commission that Pandora staff told them that the retailer did not provide refunds for faulty products and that Pandora’s warranty policy overrode the consumer guarantees protections under the ACL.

The ACCC investigated and identified that Pandora’s website contained confusing or inaccurate information on consumer guarantee rights under the ACL.

It also noted errors on Pandora’s website about its product warranty. The business failed to include mandatory text that states that consumers are entitled to a replacement or repair, and in some cases a refund, if their goods are faulty.

Consumer rights under law

“Pandora has acknowledged that it may have misled customers about their consumer guarantee rights to refunds when there was a major fault with their product. They also have admitted that by doing so they likely breached the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Consumer rights to a repair, replacement or refund cannot be excluded, restricted or modified by a business’ warranty policy.

“If consumers have purchased a product that has a major fault, they can request a full refund from their place of purchase,” Court said.

Pandora will arrange for an external review of its policies and procedures that relate to exchanges, repairs and refunds. The review will ensure customer claims for refunds and other remedies are dealt with appropriately and in accordance with the ACL.

The firm will also conduct a review of its ACL compliance program and improve its staff training and complaints handling systems.

There are 143 Pandora outlets across Australia and most are franchised.

Read more about franchisees and consumer rights here.