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Group buying code of conduct comes into being

Australia now has an official group buying code of conduct, designed to boost consumer confidence in the platform and ensure they make informed choices about purchases, and to promote compliance and best practices within the industry.

The Australian Group Buying Code of Conduct has been jointly released by the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) and the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA), who recognised the need for this established channel to have its own specific code.

It’s been developed on a voluntary basis to:

a) Ensure consumers have access to products and service information they need to make informed choices
b) Promote compliance within the industry with relevant laws including Competition and Consumer Act 2010, Privacy Act 1988 including the National Privacy Principles and the Spam Act 2003
c) Promote fair, honest, ethical best practice within the group buying industry
d) Increase consumer confidence in dealing with group buying platforms.

The code includes an independent, transparent and open complaint-handling process for consumers who’ve been unable to resolve an issue with a group buying company in the first instance. The process has been designed to encourage the group buying industry to resolve established consumer complaints, and will be managed by the ADMA Code Authority.

The code outlines best practices for group buying platforms, including:

a) Making all communication methods clear so the subscriber fully understands the offer before accepting it
b) Making sure the appropriate policies and procedures are in place and are available to subscribers
c) Ensuring all marketing and electronic messages comply with relevant legislation.

In addition to the code, signatories including Cudo, Groupon, Jump On It, LivingSocial, Ouffer, Spreets, OurDeal and Scoopon, are taking additional steps to reinforce with merchants their obligations under the law.

According to AIMA CEO John Butterworth, local consumers have shown their enthusiasm for group buying deals, and it’s important this new industry has measures implemented that “make group buying a rewarding and successful experience for consumers, merchants and group buying platforms alike.”

“The Code has been developed by the industry associations to help establish group buying as a mainstream channel.”

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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