Online reviews and complying with consumer law

Online reviews and complying with consumer law

I don’t remember the last time I bought a product without first doing a quick search for product reviews online. With the growing influence of online reviews, the ACCC has been highly concerned about the ways in which businesses may take advantage of customer reliance on reviews to mislead or make false or misleading representations.

The ACCC has initiated proceedings against Aveling Homes Pty Ltd (Aveling Homes) in the Federal Court, for misleading conduct and false or misleading representations.

The Perth-based home building company is alleged to have created review websites that indicates that they were independent of Aveling Homes and which allegedly gave the overall impression that they were affiliated with a third party consumer review website when the review websites were not.

The review websites are said to provide an overall positive impression of the company by obscuring or removing unfavourable reviews.

Though the case has not yet been heard, it is a strong reminder that even modifying or removing customer reviews may be contrary to Australian Consumer Law.

If you need advice regarding your marketing activities or your compliance with Australian Consumer Law to your company, contact me at  or call me at 1300 033 934 for a no-obligation quote.