An app that claimed to send user-snapped photos of local problems such as potholes to councils for actioning has been fined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Last month, Snap Send Solve was ordered to pay $12,600 after the ACCC issued an infringement notice alleging it had misled consumers.
Using the online platform, Australian and New Zealand users can take photos of inconsiderately parked cars, broken playground swings and damaged footpaths, and send an in-app report to the relevant council to action.
The ACCC alleges that between November 2018 and August 2019, Snap Send Solve withheld photos submitted by users from councils that were not paid subscribers to the service.
“We were concerned that Snap Send Solve misled consumers by suggesting local councils would be able to effectively respond to issues reported through its website or app,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“This may not have been the case because photos submitted were withheld from local councils without paid subscriptions.
“This may also have created a situation where local councils felt pressured into fully participating in the platform and paying for a subscription.”
Snap Send Solve CEO Danny Gorog told Information Age the company’s intention is to provide an easy way of notifying councils and other authorities of community issues that need addressing.
“Our basic subscription previously only included geo-location, notes and incident type.
“We informed all reporters of this after submitting each report.
“As a reference point, the main way customers contact council is via a phone call – which also doesn’t include a photo or a geo-location.”
Gorog said photos are now included as part of the basic subscription.
“We will continue to improve our offering so that we are fully compliant with the Australian Consumer Law,” he added.
The Snap Send Solve app has been downloaded more than half a million times.