Advice to Dick Smith customers following receivership

This announcement is for: 
Consumer

UPDATE 25/2/16: With the announcement of the imminent closure of the stores, Consumer Protection advises customers who have refund claims under the Australian Consumer Law to contact the manufacturer in the first instance or, if the manufacturer is not known, to contact the receiver, Ferrier Hodgson.

Consumer Protection has issued advice to Dick Smith customers who may be affected by the company’s recent placement into voluntary administration and receivership.

Customers affected include those:

  • who wish to redeem a gift card*;
  • have paid either partly or fully for goods yet to be delivered;
  • have entered into a lay-by agreement and paid a deposit;
  • have a store credit note which has not yet been used;
  • purchased an extended warranty issued by Dick Smith; or
  • bought a product that is faulty.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the Dick Smith stores will not be honouring gift cards and deposits will not be refunded.

“Customers who hold gift cards should contact the Voluntary Administrator as soon as possible to register their claim as an unsecured creditor of Dick Smith,” Mr Hillyard said.

“Customers who paid for gift cards on their credit or debit card should contact their credit card provider and request a chargeback as soon as possible. This option will not be available if the ‘cheque’ or ‘savings’ options were selected at the time of purchase.

“Customers who paid deposits or paid fully for goods that have yet to be delivered should contact the store about the possibility of receiving the goods. If the goods are not likely to be supplied, customers should make a chargeback claim if paid by credit card or register as an unsecured creditor if paid by cash or EFTPOS.

“Customers who purchased an extended warranty issued by Dick Smith should contact the Voluntary Administrators. Extended warranty contracts issued by a third party may still be honoured.

“Those who have faulty products may have difficulty in getting a repair or refund by dealing with the store direct, so they should also contact the Voluntary Administrators for further advice. Alternatively, customers can contact the manufacturer direct.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers have a right to a refund, replacement or repair if the product is faulty and this should be provided by either the retailer or manufacturer.

“As the retailer is continuing to trade under the control of the receiver and this is considered a new entity, consumers who purchase products after their appointment yesterday are legally entitled to their full rights under the Australian Consumer Law. Customers should contact us if they have any issues about getting a remedy if goods are faulty or don’t perform as expected.”

Affected customers should immediately register as an unsecured creditor with the Voluntary Administrators, McGrath Nicol, who have set up a hotline with Link Market Services – 1300 853 481 – or email dicksmith@linkmarketservices.com.au. More information can be found on the McGrath Nicol website: www.mcgrathnicol.com.

The receiver is Ferrier Hodgson – www.ferrierhodgson.com.

Consumer information has been posted by the ACL regulators on the ASIC website. Consumers requiring further assistance and advice can contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au.

END OF RELEASE

Media contact (Consumer Protection)

*On 8 January 2016 Coles announced it would exchange Dick Smith gift cards bought from its supermarkets from 1 July 2015 for Coles gift cards. Their Media Release said: 

"While Coles has already passed on the sale proceeds of the gift cards to Dick Smith Electronics, as a gesture of goodwill to our customers we will exchange valid, unredeemed Dick Smith Electronics gift cards purchased at Coles from 1 July, 2015 for Coles gift cards of equal value.

The offer is only open to customers with proof of purchase showing the gift cards were purchased at Coles.

To take up this offer, Coles customers are invited to call our Customer Care line on 1800 061 562 to obtain a redemption form, which will also be made available on the coles.com.au website.

Customers can then post the completed form, along with the unredeemed Dick Smith Electronics gift cards and proof of purchase, to the Coles Store Support Centre by February 29.

Coles has also written to the administrators of Dick Smith Electronics urging them to honour outstanding gift cards, some of which were purchased as Christmas gifts as part of a 10% bonus promotion Dick Smith Electronics initiated on gift card sales in December.

Coles withdrew Dick Smith Electronics gift cards from sale as soon as we were informed the company had been placed into voluntary administration."

Consumer Protection
Media release
06 Jan 2016

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