Big W In Hot Water Over How Staff Treated Dyson Complaints

Big W is in hot water for fobbing off customers who purchased faulty Dyson products, while Target has admitted it was wrong to defer complaints about Playstations purchased in stores to Sony.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on Tuesday that it has accepted a court-ordered admission from Big W, conceding that the retail giant may have breached Australian Consumer Law over its handling of faulty Dyson complaints.

According to the ACCC, some Big W staff told customers who were trying to return faulty Dyson products that they would need to contact the manufacturer directly if the complaint was made 14 days after purchase.

This advice was given to customers from December 30, 2016, and April 30, 2018.

On Tuesday, Big W acknowledged that its conduct "may have misled consumers about their rights to a repair, replacement or a refund for faulty products,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

Big W claimed customers would need to contact Dyson directly about faulty products. Image: Getty

Court said retail customers have the right to ask the place of purchase for a refund, replacement or repair if a product they've purchased is faulty.

“Retailers cannot shift their responsibility to manufacturers or set an arbitrary time limit on their obligations under the consumer guarantees," she said.

Big W has agreed to put a notice on its website advising customers to contact  them directly if they believe they have purchased faulty Dyson products.

The retailer will also review and improve training for staff about Australian Consumer Law, the ACCC said.

Target also misled customers about refunds for faulty PlayStations in 2017, according to the ACCC. Image: AAP

Big W's competitor Target is also in hot water with the ACCC about its handling of customers who purchased faulty Sony PlayStations between January 2017 and August 2017.

Target has since admitted some staff told customers they would need to contact Sony directly for a remedy and they were not entitled to a refund from stores more than 30 days after purchase.