The Federal Court has delivered a not so sweet message to chocolate franchiser Personalised Chocolates 4U (PC4U) and its sole director Troy Patching, declaring the company mislead franchisees and engaged in conduct in breach of the Franchising Code of Conduct.
The ruling follows legal action undertaken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against the chocolate franchiser, after false statements were made by PC4U to entice work-from-home entrepreneurs to buy a franchise, when the franchiser was unable to provide franchisees with the software, training and support originally promised.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said PC4U breached the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the decision should serve as a warning to others.
This outcome reminds all franchise owners that their promotional material must be truthful and accurate, and that it is illegal to accept payment for goods and services that cannot reasonably be provided,” he said.
PC4U has been ordered to publish a corrective notice on its website (www.pc4u.net.au), send a letter to former and current PC4U franchisees advising each of them of the court orders, implement a trade practices law compliance program and training, and pay a contribution to the ACCC’s court costs.
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