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AFL And NRL Clubs Discovered To Have Misled Fans On Merchandise Refunds

For anyone who buys products from an AFL shop online or offline, customer rights give Aussies some peace of mind when shopping online.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the independent arm of the Australian government in charge of enforcing customer rights and fair trade, and is also responsible for investigating cases of customer rights being violated.

Recently, they’ve been investigating 9AFL clubs and 12 NRL clubs with regards to their policies on club merchandise, and found that their sales policies are in violation of Australian Consumer Law.

Up until April 2018, the ACCC reports, many of the clubs have terms that state that products are only eligible for a refund or a return if they were purchased at full price or had not actually been worn or used.

The clubs that were under investigation have since rectified their policies to meet up with Australian Consumer Law.

Under Australian Law, all properly legally sold are eligible for a refund or a return, whether they’re bought on an AFL shop online or offline, even if they were sold at a discounted rate.

According to the ACCC, some of the clubs investigated also told their customers and fans that they had to provide the original proof of purchase when they try to get a refund or return the time, when, Aussie law allows such with any legitimate proof of purchase.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said, point blank, that football clubs are not exempt from Australian Consumer Law.

Sims reports that the ACCC discovered that the 21 club’s statements claimed that consumers were only entitled to a refund or return in very specific circumstances, when customers are entitled to such in many more situations as per the terms of the Australian Consumer Law. He adds that, under Australian Consumer Law, consumers have guaranteed rights which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.

If football fans purchase a piece of merchandise, Sims says, if it has a major fault, then they are entitled to either a refund or replacement.

The ACCC says that consumers who purchase products on sale or at clearance outlets are still eligible for refunds, repairs, or a replacement, provided that they have legitimate proof of purchase, and that the faults of the products were not revealed and detailed to them prior to purchase.

The AFL clubs identified by the ACCC with misleading policies are:

  • Carlton Football Club
  • Collingwood Football Club
  • Essendon Football Club
  • Fremantle Football Club
  • Geelong Football Club
  • Hawthorn Football Club
  • Melbourne Football Club
  • Richmond Football Club
  • Sydney Swans Football Club

The 12 NRL clubs identified by the ACCC as having misleading policies are:

  • Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Football Club
  • Canterbury-Bankstown Rugby League Football Club
  • Cronulla Sutherland District Rugby League Football Club
  • Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club
  • Many Warringah Rugby League Football Club
  • Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club
  • Newcastle Rugby League Football Club
  • Parramatta Eels Rugby League Football Club
  • South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club
  • George Illawarra Rugby League Football Club
  • Titans Rugby League Football Club
  • Wests Tigers Rugby League Football Club

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