Floral Fiasco: Retailer Fined Over Misleading Ratings and Pricing

What constitutes false or misleading representations? 

Businesses must ensure they are honest in their dealings. To do this, the information they supply to consumers must be truthful and accurate. In the event that it is not, it can be considered as false or misleading.  

 

What were Bloomex’ representations? 

Between February 2019 and March 2023, Bloomex showcased products on its website with a stagnant ‘star rating’ dating back to January 2015. Moreover, it included customer reviews for products prepared and dispatched outside Australia, alongside ratings from individuals who may not have been actual Bloomex customers. 

 

Additionally, from February 2019 to November 2022, Bloomex advertised ‘strikethrough’ prices and ‘half price’ or ‘50% off’ discount claims on its products, despite not commonly selling them at the higher prices displayed. This deceptive practice misled consumers about the actual value of the discounts they could expect when purchasing these items. 

 

What did the ACCC say about this?  

ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver emphasized that “Bloomex misled consumers about the quality and price of its products for a long time, and this penalty is an indication of how seriously the court views this conduct.,”. 

 

She further reiterated that “The ACCC focuses on investigating manipulative or deceptive advertising and marketing practices in the digital economy, where it is often harder for consumers to verify claims made by businesses.” 

 

How did the Court respond to the misleading claims? 

The Court ordered Bloomex to pay $1 million in penalties and also issued injunctions. Furthermore, it ordered Bloomex to establish a compliance program and pay the ACCC’s costs. 

 

Bloomex acknowledged its violations of the Australian Consumer Law throughout the ACCC’s legal proceedings. 

 

How can my business avoid making false or misleading claims? 

Businesses should avoid making claims about products or prices that are not truthful and accurate. All information given to customer should reflect its true nature and not be misleading. Businesses must also ensure that all advertised information are regularly reviewed and updated to avoid inaccuracies.  

 

Moving Forward 

The ACCC continues its vigilance in monitoring online retail practices. However, as these practices are occurring, businesses should be clear on what constitutes false or misleading representations and ensure they do not engage in these practices.   

  

Key takeaways 

  • Bloomex  was ordered to pay $1 million in penalties for misleading practices.  
  • Businesses should only provide true and accurate information to consumers. 

 

 

Gladwin Legal are experts in Consumer Law and have extensive experience in advising businesses. If you require assistance in understanding your legal obligations please contact us at or 1300 033 934.