digiDirect or digiDud – ACCC fines him for misleading advertising

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The ACCC fined digiDirect $ 39,240 for three infringement notices for allegedly misleading consumers about details of sales advertised in violation of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

In June, July and October 2020, digiDirect sales promotions were titled “X% Storewide Discount”. This was promoted through digiDirect’s website, on its social media, by email to digiDirect subscribers.

Simply put, the promotions make it clear that the discount applies to all products available for sale. But the ACCC found exclusions on hundreds of products, between 5 and 7% of all products in stock. It conveniently ruled out many popular digital cameras, camera lenses, and accessories.

A business that advertises a “store-wide” sale but excludes a significant number of items is, in our view, clearly misleading consumers, which is unacceptable.

ACCC President Rod Sims

The three notices of violation issued concerned the following promotions:

  • “End of year” promotion of June 2020 – via the digiDirect website and with the title “15% DISCOUNT IN THE STORE”;
  • July 2020 ‘Click Frenzy’ promotion – via the digiDirect Facebook page with the title “15% OFF IN THE STORE”; and
  • October 2020 “Liquidation” promotion – by e-mail to subscribers with the title “20% DISCOUNT * IN THE STORE”.

What is digiDirect?

digiDirect is an electronics retailer comprising photo and video equipment, lighting, printers, electronics and drones. He sells through his website (here), eBay and Amazon storefronts. It has six digiDirect branded stores in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Users have two main complaints about digiDirect

First, the advertised stock levels are inaccurate, and more often than not, goods are ordered from a supplier after you have paid. This often means unacceptable delays and usually no updates on the progress of orders, while it is the use of your money – you are an unsecured creditor.

This is a typical complaint

I ordered items from the site, after paying I received an email informing me of an out of stock. The website did not indicate any out-of-stock status for the goods, but of course happy to take payment. No response to my messages sent through the site. It’s 2021, but they can’t even have their inventory logged into the website?!?! Maybe one day I will receive my goods, maybe one day I will have a reply to my message, maybe the pig flying in a circle around the airport will land soon, and before it there is no more fuel.

Second, that the after-sales service and the resolution of complaints are dismal.

Problems include partial shipping, especially accessory packs to items (e.g. lenses) needed to use the device, being informed that the manufacturer is responsible for the warranty (under ACL , the retailer is) and several unanswered approaches. There are also complaints about the gray market and parallel importation. Read the product review here, TrustPilot here and its online store here. It looks like if you walk into a store and the product is on the shelf, it’s fine unless something goes wrong.

You can read more GadgetGuy ACCC news here.

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