The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched legal action against Fitbit in the Federal Court, alleging the smartwatch maker misled customers about their rights over faulty products. The allegations further allege that between May 2020 and February 2022 in particular, Fitbit made representations to Australian consumers that they would not be entitled to any refund for a defective product if they sought to return it after 45 days from the date of purchase or shipment. It’s the second time Fitbit has been thrown out by the ACCC, as follows very similar allegations against the laptop maker in 2018, reports 9BreakingNews.
“Fitbit has again come to the attention of the ACCC for allegedly misleading consumers about their consumer warranty rights,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said in a statement, “We are taking this case against Fitbit because we consider the alleged conduct to be serious and that the manufacturers should have processes in place to ensure compliance with the Australian Consumer Law.”
Moreover, Fitbit informed consumers that they weren’t eligible for a second device if they had availed of a replacement device earlier and the original two-year ‘limited warranty period’ of the device had expired. “All consumers have automatic consumer guarantee rights that cannot be excluded, restricted or modified. The consumer guarantee rights exist in addition to any warranties offered by manufacturers,” said Ms. Cass-Gottlieb.
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“Products must be of acceptable quality, and retailers must provide a remedy for faulty goods which include a repair, replacement, or refund, depending on the circumstances,” she added.
A spokesperson for Fitbit said the company was reviewing the allegations and did not have any further comments.
The regulator does not allege Fitbit is in breach of its 2018 undertaking where the company extended its manufacturer’s warranty from one year to two for Australian consumers.