A MAME cabinet. An upper-decker LAN party. Flashy PC cases.
It's the kind of gear you'd expect out the front of a PC retailer. Except it's not. It's a booth at PAX video games expo. For Harvey Norman.
Maybe you've never had a bad experience returning a dodgy TV or gadget. Good for you! Unfortunately, very few of us fall into this lovely demographic and have endured the run-around from both online and bricks-and-mortar stores. Turns out almost half of Aussie electronics retailers are guilty of having staff with no idea of what rights consumers have.
We know from past experience that getting a deal on a cheap USB 3.0 flash drive doesn't always work out. Just because it supports 3.0 doesn't mean it'll be faster than USB 2.0. Sandisk's Ultra Fit series however is the exception, especially when you can pick a 32GB model up for $15.
Gerry Harvey loves to complain, whether it's about high hourly rates that don't exist, unspecified red tape or online competitors who would actually be cheaper than his stores even if they were forced to charge GST. One thing he probably isn't complaining about? His annual salary as Harvey Norman chairman.
Consumer research group Global Reviews has released a report analysing the experiences of Australians looking to buy 46-55-inch televisions online. It found that JB Hi-Fi is the most preferred online store due to a perception of having the best prices. Harvey Norman, meanwhile, has a hard time holding onto would-be customers, with the majority defecting to another retailer before making their final purchase.
The Federal Court has found four Harvey Norman franchisees guilty of lying to consumers about their rights. The stores were fined a total of $116,000 for making false or misleading representations to customers — including the claim that they were under no obligation to provide an exchange or refund for faulty goods supplied.
The vast majority of staff at Australia's major electronics retailers are pretty clueless when it comes to consumer rights, according to a new investigation by CHOICE. The consumer watchdog discovered widespread violations of Australian consumer law across 85 per cent of Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi stores around the country.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has re-instituted legal proceedings against nine Harvey Norman franchisees for misleading consumers about their rights. The nine stores, based in Queensland, Victoria, NSW and WA, are accused of a range of infringements, including telling customers they were not obligated to provide remedies for faulty products.
Credit Suisse has released its latest Australian Consumer Electronics Pricing index, which compares the prices of various electronic product categories across Australia's leading retailers. In an outcome that will surprise few, Harvey Norman has once again topped the list as the country's most expensive retailer, while online stores remain the most affordable.
Credit Suisse regularly compares pricing for selected consumer electronics at large Australian retailers. Its most recent comparison unsurprisingly pegs Harvey Norman as the most expensive retailer and notes that online retailer Kogan undercuts all its bricks-and-mortar rivals. Perhaps a little more surprisingly, it pitches Dick Smith as slightly cheaper than JB Hi-Fi.