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Consumer watchdog fields complaints about misleading caravan ads

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The consumer watchdog has fired off a stern warning to caravan retailers over misleading customers on price.

The mobile home retailing industry has already been on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s watchlist after a report last year revealed long wait times for new builds and a range of inaccurate product depictions.

Pricing-related misrepresentations are now on the ACCC’s radar, with the regulator flagging an incident where a small retailer advertised a fixed price at the point of order but then tried to charge customers more.

Fixed pricing was promoted even though the retailer’s contract allowed it to pass on the manufacturer’s price hikes.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb for accountability, credibility and transparency.

Retailers misleading consumers in breach of consumer law risk strong enforcement action, the ACCC said.

“Caravans are significant purchases for consumers and when things go wrong the harm can be significant,” commissioner Liza Carver said.

The consumer watchdog is also aware of retailers advertising caravans as lighter than they are, forcing owners to buy more powerful vehicles to tow them or unintentionally exceed safe towing limits.

Some retailers have already been contacted by the consumer watchdog and removed the offending product information or marketing material.

Though the regulator still has concerns about other small and mid-sized operators.

“It’s important that businesses of all sizes appreciate they have the same obligations to consumers under the Australian Consumer Law as large retailers,” Ms Carver said.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb for accountability, credibility and transparency.

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