The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission yesterday announced that five TV manufacturers — Samsung, Sharp, LG, Sony and Panasonic — had failed to make clear in their advertising the need for a separate adaptor to use the Wi-Fi features on TVs boasting the "Wi-Fi Ready" branding. As a result, the companies must now remove the branding, or make it clear that an extra purchase is necessary.
Image: Wi-Fi Alliance
According to the ACCC, any manufacturer that uses the phrases "Wi-Fi Ready" or "Wireless LAN Ready" on their promotional material must make sure it's "accompanied by prominent statements" pointing out the need for a USB dongle or adaptor to utilise the feature.
The ACCC begin its investigation after a consumer complained of buying a "Wi-Fi Ready" TV, only to be greeted once home by an on-screen message asking for an adaptor. It wouldn't be so bad a problem if the adaptor only cost a couple of bucks, but according to the ACCC, prices of $100 or more are not uncommon.
It wasn't long ago Apple ran afoul of the ACCC after it started selling the new, "4G"-capable iPad in Australia. Apple was forced to remove the 4G branding and pay a $2+ million fine. I guess the likes of Sony and LG got off easy this time.