False or misleading representations

False or misleading representations

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It is unlawful to make false claims or misleading claims or representations:

• about the supply or possible supply of goods or services

• when promoting the supply or use of goods or services.

For instance, a business must not make false or misleading representations about:

• the standard, quality, value or grade of goods or services

• the composition style, model or history of goods

Courts have found false and misleading representations in these cases:

• a manufacturer sold socks, which were not pure cotton, labelled as ‘pure cotton’

Legal reference: TPC v Pacific Dunlop limited (1994) ATPR 41-307

• a retailer placed a label on garments showing a sale price and a higher, strikethrough price. However, the garments had never sold for the higher price

Legal reference: TPC v Cue Design Pty Ltd (1996) A Crim R 500; ATPR 41-475

• a business made a series of untrue representations about the therapeutic benefits of negative ion mats it sold 

Legal reference: ACCC v Giraffe World Australia Pty Ltd (1999) 95 FCR 302; 166 ALR 74

• a motor repairer told a customer more repair work was needed on their car than was necessary 

Legal reference: Dawson v Motor Tyre Service Pty Ltd (1981) ATPR 40-223