The ACCC reminds Fitbit how refunds work

The ACCC is angling for another round in the Federal Court with Fitbit.

Fergus Halliday
Oct 23, 2022
bullet1 min read

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking Fitbit to court over claims that the wearable tech manufacturer made misleading representations to consumers.

In a statement, the ACCC alleges that Fitbit made a number of statements to consumers between March 2020 and February 2022  that indicated they would not be entitled to a refund or only to a refund under certain conditions.

ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb noted that this isn't the first time the Google-owned company has fallen afoul of the regulator and reminded consumers that their automatic consumer guarantee rights cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.

“We are taking this case against Fitbit because we consider the alleged conduct is serious and that manufacturers should have processes in place that ensure compliance with the Australian Consumer Law,” Cass-Gottlieb said.
Fitbit Ionic

Citing a total of 58 alleged contraventions of Australian Consumer Law, the regulator called out Fitbit for misleading customers by imposing a 45-day refund period and other requirements.

The watchdog noted, in one instance, a consumer was denied their right to a refund or replacement over a faulty device that was itself a replacement for another faulty device. Another was denied a refund after encountering technical issues with a product that could not be resolved.

Back in 2017, Fitbit was taken to court by the ACCC over similar claims the company was misleading customers about their right to a refund. Despite the similarities between then and now, Australia's competition regulator insists that it is not alleging a breach of the undertaking provided by Fitbit in 2018.

The news also follows just months after Fitbit began a recall of its Ionic smartwatch, following reports that the lithium-ion batteries inside the device are overheating and burning users.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a Digital Content Editor for who specialises in technology, entertainment, gaming and pop culture. His work has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, Press Start Australia, The AU Review, Screen Rant, Superjump and more. You can follow him on Twitter.

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