The ACCC has helped to bail out small business newsagents, relieving them of a heavy financial burden for useless equipment.
Following the collapse of Bill Express in July 2008 close to 3000 small businesses, predominantly newsagents, found they were locked into up to 60 month rental contracts for bill paying technology which no longer worked.
According to the ACCC website, small business owners rented the equipment for $495 a month from Technology Business International Pty Ltd. When Bill Express collapsed, small business owners were told they would no longer receive the Bill Express services or the subsidy from Bill Express that was meant to equal the rental amount, but they still had to pay rental for the equipment that, with the collapse of Bill Express, was worthless.
The ACCC took action in the Federal Court in late October 2008, claiming both Bill Express and TBI contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974, and the Federal Court yesterday ruled that they had in fact contravened the Act.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said it was “an important case for many small businesses.”