Consumer advocate CHOICE says today’s announcement of a $1.95m penalty for Jetstar over “false and misleading representations” of the consumer law is an important message to Australian businesses.

The penalty comes following CHOICE’s 2016 Fare Play report and complaint to the ACCC regarding misleading airline terms and conditions.

“Don’t play games with consumer rights” says Erin Turner, Director of Campaign and Communications at CHOICE.

“This is an important message to all Australian businesses –  be honest with Australians about their consumer rights. Every Australian should be informed and empowered to access and use their consumer rights. Practices like claiming that “no refunds” apply when they can are not acceptable in a fair-minded community.”

CHOICE’S 2016 Fare Play report and ACCC complaint focused on:

  • Ensuring communication of delays/cancellations and compensation is fair.

  • Unfair cancellation fees.

  • Airline communication of consumer rights – specifically the incorrect inference that refund laws don’t apply to airlines.

“CHOICE raised issues with Jetstar’s “no refund” claims in December 2016.” says Turner.

“The ACCC recognised the issues consumers were facing with airlines, releasing clear warnings and guidance about consumer rights. We congratulate the ACCC on this legal win that shows that businesses can’t opt-out of the consumer law. Businesses big and small should take this as a message to take their consumer obligations seriously.”

CHOICE will continue to call out businesses and work with Governments and regulators to address unfair business behaviours.