Customers can now shop at an AFL shop online a little easier, as twenty-one clubs from both the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL) recently made changes to their customer return and refund policies with regards to merchandise sales, following an investigation by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.
According to ACCC Chair Rod Sims, the changes made by these clubs follow a close review of the returning and refunding policies of various professional sporting clubs in Australia in order to ensure that they were compliant with the terms of the Australian Consumer Law.
From, at least, April of 2018, 21 sporting clubs from the AFL and the NRL made several claims in their returns and refunds policies which the ACCC deemed as misleading, which include terms like the items being unworn, purchased at full price and returned within a certain timeframe.
This violates the Australian Consumer Law, which grants all customers the right to a remedy that is not locked behind a specific time frame, nor are discounted items or used items exempt from the guarantees granted by the ACL.
Some of the AFL and NRL clubs also had terms for their customers that mandated the presentation of the original proof of purchase when asking for a return or a refund, when, in fact, the ACL does not require an original proof of purchase from customers whenever they attempt to exercise their rights.
Mr Sims says that the ACCC discovered that each club’s statements said that consumers could only receive a remedy under specific circumstances, when the Australian Consumer Law dictates that consumers be entitled to assistance under far more situations.
Sims explains that consumers have rights under the ACL guarantees which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified in any way; if football fans get a piece of merchandise from an AFL shop online that has a major issue then they are entitled to a choice of a refund or a replacement.
He adds that retailers must ensure that their refund and returns policies meet up with the terms of the ACL, or else they risk the ACCC stepping in.
The list of the clubs with misleading policies are as follows:
- Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Football Club
- Canterbury-Bankstown Rugby League Football Club
- Cronulla Sutherland District Rugby League Football Club
- Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club
- Manly Warringah Rugby League Football Club
- Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club
- Newcastle Rugby League Football Club
- Parramatta Eels Rugby League Football Club
- South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club
- St George Illawarra Rugby League Football Club
- Titans Rugby League Football Club
- Wests Tigers Rugby League Football Club
- Carlton Football Club
- Collingwood Football Club
- Essendon Football Club
- Fremantle Football Club
- Geelong Football Club
- Hawthorn Football Club
- Melbourne Football Club
- Richmond Football Club
- Sydney Swans Football Club: