Australian online bookseller Booktopia has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay a $6 million fine for misleading consumers.
For almost two years – from 10 January 2020 to 2 November 2021 – Booktopia made misleading claims on its website that consumers were only entitled to a refund if they notified the bookseller within two business days of delivery if an item was faulty or not what they ordered.
Booktopia also stated that buyers were not entitled to a refund for ebooks for any reason, which ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said was “misleading”.
“Consumers are entitled to return faulty products within a reasonable time and receive a refund, repair, or replacement, depending on the nature of the fault.”
“We do not know how many consumers may have been deterred from seeking a refund or replacement by Booktopia’s misleading representations on its website,” Ms Carver said.
As part of the settlement, Booktopia was ordered to publish a notice on its website within 21 days correcting its misleading statements, and establish a program to comply with Australian consumer law.
Founded by Tony Nash, Simon Nash and Steve Traurig in 2004, Booktopia turns over $165 million a year.