THURSDAY 09 MAY, 2013 |
ACCC Takes Action Against Two Solar Companies
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued proceedings against
two solar companies over allegedly false or misleading claims with regard to the country of origin of the solar panels they supply.
The ACCC alleges
the companies have made representations online, in newspapers and on television that they manufacture or supply
Australian made solar panels; which are actually manufactured in China.
While some Chinese solar panel brands are of high quality; quality is not the
"Consumers should be able to rely on the accuracy of labels, especially when they are prepared to pay a premium for products made in Australia. Misleading credence claims can have a significant impact on the competitive process and hurt the local
economy," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
The ACCC also alleges some written and video testimonials praising the company were not made by genuine customers of
In the solar sector, fake testimonials are unfortunately not uncommon - but the
ACCC is aware of this and is giving the issue increased attention.
"Australian consumers are increasingly relying on online consumer reviews to inform their purchasing decisions. Fake testimonials can mislead consumers as a great deal of trust is often placed on these reviews. They also harm competitors who do the right
thing," Mr Sims said.
The matter has been listed for a scheduling conference in Adelaide on 8 July 2013
and the ACCC is seeking declarations that the companies contravened the ACL
(Australian Consumer Law); plus injunctions, publication orders, pecuniary penalties and costs.
While many cowboys have been ejected from the Australian solar sector in recent
years, unscrupulous players remain. Labelling is only one of many issues that
consumers should be aware of when purchasing a solar power system. Energy
Matters offers a comprehensive, free 24-page Solar
Power Consumer Guide
designed to assist buyers in making the right purchase
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