MSY Busted For Breaking Australian Consumer Law (Again)

MSY Busted For Breaking Australian Consumer Law (Again)

Everybody’s favourite ultra-discount computer store MSY Technology has run foul of Australia’s consumer watchdog, again. This time, the ACCC is targeting MSY for apparently misleading customers on their rights around refunds, replacements and warranties.

After being slapped on the wrist with a $203,500 fine for dodgy warranty practices between 2010 and 2012, the ACCC is again pursuing MSY for similar practices it claims occurred between January 2013 and February of this year.

It’s saying statements made to customers on MSY’s website and in some of its 28 stores around Australia claimed the cut-rate PC components supplier reserved the right to choose whether to offer customers repairs, replacements or refunds for faulty parts, and also whether it wanted to offer any remedy at all. The ACCC also alleges that MSY told customers that administration fees would be charged for warranty work.

All of these are prima facie breaches of Australian Consumer Law, which offers customers statutory rights on the quality of the goods they buy. It usually includes the right to repair, replace or refunds, and cannot be excluded by a retailer.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court on the upcoming Federal Court proceedings against MSY: “Businesses must not mislead consumers about their consumer guarantee rights. Consumers who have purchased a faulty product have a right under the consumer guarantees to remedies which businesses cannot restrict, alter, or remove. The ACCC is particularly concerned that this type of conduct by businesses which have a national presence has the potential to cause significant consumer harm.”

Australia’s competition and consumer watchdog wants an injunction against MSY’s statements, penalties for the actions already taken, promises that it won’t happen again, and a “comprehensive compliance program” to make sure of that fact. In its statement, the ACCC does take pains to point out that all of this has happened before, too. [ACCC]


  • Everybody’s favourite ultra-discount computer store MSY TechnologyThat’s ‘Everybody’ minus me.

    I once had a need to return a Dead-on-Arrival HDD I’d purchased at MSY. Their sales-person started off on the ‘we return this to the manufacturer, etc, etc and you can expect a reply in 6~8 weeks’. When I countered with the fact that I had purchased it yesterday and it was DoA and had not failed in use and all I wanted was a replacement, the sales-person and another sales-person started chatting to each other in a foreign language (I presume from East Asia?), then fell back on the ‘I don’t understand what you say’ ploy. Nothing I could say would penetrate this stone-walling; even quoting the Consumer Law about this situation (a mate had pre-warned me) was to no avail.

    I vowed at that moment NEVER to darken any of their doors again. As to the HDD, I shipped it back to the manufacturer’s return address in Sydney myself and had a replacement at my door in 5 days.

  • You would think that MSY would have learned their lesson last time. Clearly a $203,500 fine was nowhere near enough and the owners/management have just brazenly continued their shonky business practices.

    Maybe the fine should have been $2,035,000.
    With this second offence, the company fine must be at least $1million.
    To help the message sink in, 30 days gaol with no parole for all the company directors and the CEO wouldn’t hurt.

  • If you want a laugh, check out the first case at para [95].

    Insofar as special deterrence is concerned I do not think that much is required. The respondents have now put in place appropriate programmes and have co-operated fully. I do not think that there is likely to be a repetition of the conduct.


    The maximum penalty for false or misleading representations is 1.1 million for corporations, I feel the Federal Court will lean more towards that figure this time around 😉 Can’t plead ignorance now boys.

    Refuse to go to MSY Cannington anymore unless the manufacturer has a decent after sales service, it’s not worth the cost of dealing with them.

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