The ACCC has launched legal action against Secure Parking Pty Ltd in the Federal Court, alleging that it violated the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading claims regarding its ‘Secure-a-Spot’ service.
What is considered a misleading claim?
Section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law prohibits engaging in conduct that is misleading or deceptive. The courts will consider whether a reasonable person, who belong to the class the conduct or representation was made to, would have been misled or deceived.
Why was Secure Parking’s marketing misleading?
The ACCC claims that between 2017 and 2022, Secure Parking represented to consumers that a booking made with its ‘Secure-a-Spot’ service would reserve a parking space chosen by the consumer at a particular time and date, when this was not the case. The ACCC has reported that what actually happened was that sometimes their car parks reached full capacity before people with a pre booked spot arrived, meaning they had no parking spot. Some people then complained that they were late to, or missed appointments or meetings because of the reliance on this service. Marketing included words like “PARKING GUARANTEED”.
According to the ACCC these proceedings were ‘because [they] allege Secure Parking was not providing the service it was representing to consumers and did not reserve a parking space after consumers had pre-booked using the Secure-a- Spot service’.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, penalties, compliance orders, corrective notices and costs.
How can my business avoid making misleading claims?
Businesses should always act honestly. Businesses should not inflate the benefits of their goods or services to acquire an unfair advantage.
To avoid making misleading representations your business should consider the following:
- Give current and correct information;
- Use easy to understand language;
- Be specific with claims to avoid misunderstandings;
- Back up claims with facts and evidence; and
- Keep consumers updated if things change.
What happens if I do breach Consumer Law by making misleading claims?
It is irrelevant whether your business intends to mislead or not. Making a misleading claim is considered a breach of the Australian Consumer Law. The maximum penalties for each breach of the ACL are the greater of $50,000,000 for corporations and $2,500,000 for individuals.
- The ACCC has launched legal action against Secure Parking for making misleading claims about its Secure-a-Spot service.
- Business should avoid making misleading claims about products or services.
- Making misleading claims is considered a breach of the ACL.
Gladwin Legal are experts in Australian 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.