Commissioner's Blog: Public warning about LuxStyle
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With Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard
You may have seen advertisements for LuxStyle on Facebook or Instagram.
In March 2017, Consumer Protection welcomed a Public Warning Notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about the alleged conduct of the Denmark-based online retailer Lux International Sales ApS, which trades under the name LuxStyle.
Since January the ACCC has received more than 127 complaints about LuxStyle and in the first quarter of 2017 at least 20 enquiries were lodged with Consumer Protection by Western Australians who say they were sent items in the mail that they didn’t order and received payment demands when they didn’t believe they owed money.
When you receive products or services that you have not requested, this is called an 'unsolicited supply'.
The Public Warning Notice has been issued because the ACCC has reasonable grounds to suspect that LuxStyle’s conduct may be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law, by asserting a right to payment for unsolicited supply of goods.
LuxStyle advertised its products, including beauty items such as face masks and mascara, on social media. Potential customers were directed to a website that did not display prices unless the consumer entered a mailing address and an email address.
Consumers have complained that even though they did not proceed to order or purchase the goods and simply closed down the website window after viewing the price of the product, LuxStyle then posted the goods to them along with an invoice demanding payment. This was followed up with subsequent invoices if consumers did not pay.
Consumers have reported that on some occasions where they did not pay, LuxStyle referred the matter to Australian-based debt collectors.
The Australian Consumer Law provides specific protection to consumers here. If a business sends unsolicited goods to Australia, the consumer is not required to pay for the goods, nor is the consumer required to pay to return the goods.
The ACCC has agreed to take complaints from consumers in Australia who have received goods from LuxStyle that they did not order or have been contacted by a debt collector about payment for goods from LuxStyle. Lodge a report with the ACCC via its website accc.gov.au.
Anyone in WA who has paid LuxStyle for these unsolicited goods and would now like assistance to seek a refund can contact Consumer Protection by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1300 30 40 54.
Tips for consumers who receive unsolicited products or services:
- You are not required to pay for the products or services.
- You are not liable for any loss or damage resulting from a supply of unsolicited services
- If you contact the business in writing, expressing that you do not want the products, then the business should recover the products within one month.
- If you don’t contact the business, then the business may recover the products within three months from the day after you received the products.
- You cannot unreasonably refuse to allow the supplier to recover the products.
If the supplier does not collect the unsolicited products within these timeframes, you can keep the products with no obligation to pay for them.
You can find out more about disputing a debt on the ACCC website accc.gov.au/consumers/debt-debt-collection/disputing-a-debt
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