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.