Dynamic Business Logo
Home Button
Bookmark Button

ACCC claims solar panel ads are misleading

Queensland Solar Systems and State Solar Services have amended their marketing campaigns after the ACCC said their ads were likely to mislead or deceive consumers. energy

Queensland Solar Systems (QSS) and State Solar Services (SSS), both retailers of solar panel systems, acknowledged that it was likely that their campaigns had contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974. In their ads the retailers claimed that consumers could ‘wipe out’ household electricity bills by installing a 1.5kw solar panel system, when a system of that size is not likely to generate sufficient electricity to eliminate an average household’s electricity costs. The ads also said that solar systems were heavily discounted when they had never been sold at a higher price or the recommended retail price (RRP) advertised. The ads also stated that the discounts were only available during limited sale periods when the systems were always available at discount prices.

The ACCC may in future use its new enforcement power to issue substantiation notices, which require businesses to substantiate their claims and to produce supporting documentation.

It is important for businesses to recognise that they have an obligation to truthfully report their product, says ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.

“Before businesses claim their products have environmental or financial benefits they should carefully consider whether those claims are accurate and ensure that they are able to be substantiated,” Mr Samuel said.

“Businesses that advertise ‘special’ or markdown prices by comparing their prices with a higher price or a RRP must also be able to prove that the comparisons are accurate and represent genuine savings to consumers that they would not get outside advertised ‘sale’ periods,” Mr Samuel added.

The court enforceable undertakings require QSS and SSS to publish corrective notices in newspapers in Queensland and Victoria, in an industry magazine and on their websites.  Each trader is also required to contact past customers directly to inform them about the conduct and to set up a trade practices law compliance program.

What do you think?

    Be the first to comment

Add a new comment

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke

View all posts