Correct labels needed
AS consumers, we make purchasing decisions based on the information contained on labels, packaging and in advertising of products.
For that reason it’s imperative that information is correct.
I want to remind WA businesses of their obligation to ensure labels on their products are accurate and highlight a recent Consumer Protection prosecution result as a warning.
Earlier this month, a roof insulation company was fined $18,000 for misleading consumers about the quality rating and standard of one of its products.
Golden Bay Properties Pty Ltd, trading as Jumbuck Wool Insulation, was also ordered to pay costs totalling $11,968 when sentenced at the Albany Magistrates Court on April 6.
In September 2014, an officer from Consumer Protection purchased polyester insulation material from the business with the label claiming the product had an R-value rating of 3.0, which complied with Australian standards.
The R-value rates the level of thermal resistance of the insulation.
The product was tested by the Australian Wool Testing Authority, which showed that it failed to meet the standard indicated on its label and had a less-than-declared thermal resistance.
The Court accepted that the offence under the Australian Consumer Law was unintentional and the company had since reviewed its production processes to remedy the problem.
In this case, consumers purchasing the insulation would expect it to have the insulating capacity claimed. The long term heating and cooling costs would have been greater for the purchaser.
Whether intentional or not, if consumers are misled by false information about a product, it is a serious offence and may result in financial penalties as in this case, as well as damage to the reputation of the business.
Information about truth in advertising is available on the Consumer Protection website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/cp.
Contact Consumer Protection by email email@example.com or call 1300 30 40 54.