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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Australian Regulators Take Legal Action Against HP Over Warranties

Australia's competition regulator has launched legal action against Hewlett Packard (HP) for allegedly breaching consumer protection laws over warranties.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleges HP's local subsidiary misled consumers over their warranty rights under consumer protection laws.

ACCC claims Hewlett-Packard Australia Pty Ltd (HP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company, made false or misleading representations to consumers in relation to consumers' statutory warranty and consumer guarantee rights and also made false or misleading representations to retailers that HP was not liable to indemnify them if they provided consumers with a refund or replacement without HP's prior authorisation.

The ACCC alleges that HP represented to consumers that the remedies available for a faulty HP product were limited to remedies available from HP at its sole discretion and that consumers must have had a faulty HP product repaired multiple times by HP before they were entitled to receive a replacement. ACCC also claims that the warranty period for HP products was limited to a specified express warranty period. Last but not least, ACCC alleges that HP 's clients could not return or exchange HP products purchased from the HP Online Store, unless otherwise agreed by HP at its sole discretion.

In proceedings instituted in the Federal Court in Sydney, ACCC is seeking declarations; injunctions; civil pecuniary penalties; disclosure orders; adverse publicity orders; non-party redress for consumers affected by HP's conduct; the implementation of a compliance program; and costs.

The matter is set down for a scheduling conference on 7 December 2012.

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