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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 2607

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: Franchise Related Complaints

(Question No. 728)


Mr Craig Kelly asked the Treasurer, in writing, on 17 November 2011:

Of the just over 600 franchise-related complaints received by the ACCC in 2010-11, and the (a) 168 of these cases involving allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct by the franchisor, and (b) 84 of these cases involving allegations of unconscionable conduct by the franchisor:

(i) how many did the ACCC investigate;

(ii) in how many cases did the ACCC initiate proceedings against a franchisor; and

(iii) in how many cases were the complainants advised by the ACCC that no action would be taken.


Mr Swan: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(i) The ACCC received approximately 600 franchise-related complaints covering numerous aspects of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Act), including industry code provisions, misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct. Of these, 188 matters were escalated for further assessment. Of these, 44 progressed to initial investigation. Of these, 8 progressed to in-depth investigation. A number of these matters remain open.

(a) 37 complaints involving allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct were escalated for further assessment. Of these, 7 matters progressed to initial investigation. Of these, 1 matter progressed to in-depth investigation.

(b) 52 complaints involving allegations of unconscionable conduct were escalated for further assessment. Of these, 9 matters progressed to initial investigation. Of these, 2 matters progressed to in-depth investigation.

(ii) (a) One. On 15 July 2011 the ACCC instituted proceedings against Sensaslim and others in relation to allegations, amongst other things, of misleading and deceptive conduct and false representations to franchisees and consumers. ACCC v Sensaslim Australia Pty Ltd & Ors (NSD 1163/2011) is currently before the court.

(b) Nil

(iii) (a) and (b) Of the 44 franchise-related complaints that were progressed to initial investigation, complainants were advised in 32 matters that the ACCC was no longer pursuing the matter. In 4 matters, the matter was discontinued when the complainant failed to provide additional information requested by the ACCC.