Does customer protection for Australians extend to offshore retailers? Fair Trading NSW is about to find out, having finally brought a case against serial shonks Camera Sky and Android Enjoyed.
The two websites, operated by parent company Digital Marketing and Solutions, have been ripping off Australian bargain hunters since at least 2016. Even though they have far fewer customers than retail giants like Harvey Norman, Kogan and Apple, they manage to swap top place with these companies on the NSW Fair Trading Complaints Register on a regular basis. Yet this is the first time legal action has been instigated.
Prior to this, NSW Fair Trading has issued public warnings that haven’t reached the public, and enforceable undertakings that haven’t been enforced. The ACCC has simply gone missing.
NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean said the company and its sole director Yuen Ho Wong are based in Hong Kong. Nonetheless the two websites are set up as local businesses, with an ABN number, 1800 numbers, state ‘branch’ phone numbers, local email addresses, local bank accounts and street addresses. However they are not registered to collect GST.
‘Fair Trading is alleging the business failed to repair defective goods, provide refunds for defective or damaged goods or goods not fit for purpose, and failed to supply goods in a reasonable time or at all,’ said Minister Kean.
Camera Sky, which sells cameras and accessories, and Android Enjoyed, which sells mobile phones and other electronics, have attracted almost 800 complaints, ranging from poor quality products to acceptance of payment without supplying goods.
‘These are figures no company should be proud of,’ Kean said.
It remains to be seen whether Yuen Ho Wong will even show up to the NSW Supreme Court on September 26 to respond to the NSW Fair Trading injunction proceedings.
Having closed down the two offending online businesses in the past month or so, one could assume he would have little appetite or incentive to travel to Australia and ‘lawyer up’. Having consistently and successfully ripped off Australian customers for around four years, it might be time to pocket the profits and move on to some market with even lazier regulators than we have here.
In the July NSW Fair Trading list, Kogan and Samsung were also prominent as was Harvey Norman and Apple.