Consumer law is the legal term which can maintain effective relationship among customers and companies. It consists several remedies in order to protect rights and interest of people. Present law provides several rights to people in order to receive claim (Weatherill, 2013). Business organizations not able to use misleading information in advertisement. Section 18 of Australian Consumer Law is providing restriction to company that they are not able to so misleading or deceptive conduct.
(A) Elements of section 18 of misleading or deceptive conduct.
Section 18 of Australian Consumer Law has been considered as schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act, 2010. Such act imposed restriction of business organizations which involve in trade and commerce not able to provide mislead or deceptive information to customers. The primary aim of section 18 of act is to provide proper protection to consumers and preventing them from companies from any misleading their customers. A variety of remedies of consumers are available for protect their rights and interest at the time of misleading or deceptive conduct by corporations. Misleading and deceptive conduct stated that companies mention wrong information or data in their advertisements for attract customers (Benohr, 2013). Section 18 of ACL is able to establishes a statutory norm of manner that relates to business activity across the economy. Misleading conduct can occur due to several reasons are as aligned below-
Comparative advertisement- Usually, companies mentioned characteristics of goods and services offered by them in international market. But in some case they use promotional statements that compare with other firm which provide same products and services to people. No entity can caper its products and services with other firm. This process is considered as wrongful act (Ayeh, Au and Law, 2013).
Representations- Thus, representations can be made under pre-contractual negotiations.
Update posts- Most of business organizations use social media platform in order to promote their goods and services in effective manner. Usually, firms update wrong information rather than correct data (Kolivos and Kuperman, 2012).
Additional disclaimer- When members of firm are conduct adding disclaimers in their advertising materials that time company may use misleading or deceptive conduct.
ELEMENTS OF MISLEADING CONDUCT
Engage in conduct- Section 18 of this act define several elements of misleading conduct. So that. Engage in conduct is one of them. While advertising goods and services company may use misleading information which is not beneficial for them (Howells and Weatherill, 2017).
Trade in commerce- At the time of conduct trade and commerce, firm may use some misleading information in order to pretend that they selling best products and services in market. So that, such situation create confusion among people (Ishak and Zabil, 2012).
(B) Applies section 18 on advertisement and pre-contractual negotiations.
Marketing and advertising- For the purpose of promote goods and services in international market most of the companies use advertisement. They mention various features and characteristics of products they offer to people. So that, if members of entity use misleading information or data then it may create confusion among people (Ishak and Zabil, 2012). Also it can reduce trust of customer. Advertisement is the best way to promote services but employers must ensure that they use correct and authenticate data in order to provide related information to them. Also companies are not able to compare their services with other firm (The Elements of Misleading Conduct. 2017).
Pre-contractual negotiations- Business organizations have to mention actual information or data related to their goods and services offer in market. They are not able to use data which is irrelevant with actual data. Information related to pre-contractual negotiation is not able to mention under advertisement (Ishak and Zabil, 2012). Through this they can misguide consumer and reduce trust level as well. In case, company do so and failed to follow rules then legal authorities may impose penalties on them equal to amount or imprisonment consists under law. Furthermore, protection of human right is the best way to follow rules.
(C) Case law
There is an internet provide business organization offered ‘unlimited’ download plans to large number of people who signed up to its internet services. Furthermore, the special plans were subject to major boundaries consisting speed reductions at the time certain amount of data was downloaded. The court or legal authorities has been found that the use of the term ‘unlimited’ related to internet plans that were subject to large number of limitations that were not revealed was misleading as well as deceptive.
Above mentioned in real which is clearly stated misleading or deceptive conduct.
(A) Standard form of consumer contract.
Different types of laws protecting customers from several unfair terms and conditions in situations where they have no opportunity in order to negotiate with companies, like with standard form consumer contracts. Section 27 of Australian Consumer Law define some factors which may contribute in maintain standard form of consumer contract. Such factors are as aligned below-
Parties- In order to meet standard form of consumer contract, two or more parties are required to form legal contract with each other.
Agreement- At the time of selling products companies may form legal contract with their targeted customers (Ishak and Zabil, 2012). Members of firm are responsible to fulfil agreement which is framed with people. This is the significant factor which may contribute in protect rights and interest of people.
Rules- Every company is responsible to follow rules, regulation and policies which are imposed on them as per the provision of law. Also they are responsible to provide best and accurate information to customers in order to build trust among people.
(B) Prohibition of unfair contract terms.
The specified restriction on unfair agreement terms and conditions being comprised in standard form of consumer contracts which is shortly apply to prohibit these terms or conditions being involved under standard form contracts with most of the business organizations. Unfair terms may create imbalance among rights and interest of parties which is mentioned under provision of contract (Ishak and Zabil, 2012). Thus, prohibition on unfair contract terms which may allow customers to make complaints against company in order to receive amount of compensation which is specified under law.
(C) Case law
Case: George Mitchell Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd., in this case farmer positively lodge complaints in contradiction of that a clause limiting the significant obligation of a person who act as cabbage seed seller in present case in order to damages for additional seed, instead of the far major loss of incomes after crop failure, was unacceptable.
From above report it is concluded that, according to the rule of consumer law no company can do misleading or deceptive conduct. Because it may cause reduce trust among people. Members have to use correct and authenticate information in their advertisement for provide best possible to data to them. At the time of selling the product entities frame legal agreement with targeted customers. So that, as per the rule company have to provide best quality of products and services. Concept of Section 18 of Australian Consumer Law is mentioned above report which may restrict companies for not able to use misleading information or data.
Books and Journals
Ayeh, J.K., Au, N. and Law, R., 2013. Predicting the intention to use consumer-generated media for travel planning. Tourism Management. 35. pp.132-143.
Benohr, I., 2013. EU consumer law and human rights. Oxford University Press.
Howells, G. and Weatherill, S., 2017. Consumer protection law. Routledge.
Ishak, S. and Zabil, N.F.M., 2012. Impact of consumer awareness and knowledge to consumer effective behavior. Asian Social Science. 8(13). p.108.
Kolivos, E. and Kuperman, A., 2012. Consumer law: Web of lies-legal implications of astroturfing. Keeping good companies. 64(1). p.38.
Weatherill, S., 2013. EU consumer law and policy. Edward Elgar Publishing.
The Elements of Misleading Conduct. 2017. [Online]. Available through: <https://legalvision.com.au/misleading-or-deceptive-conduct-what-you-need-to-know/>.