Electronics retailer Noel Leeming has been slapped with a warning from the Commerce Commission over its failed promises for fast delivery.
The official warning letter comes after Noel Leeming made delivery representations “without reasonable grounds” that it could not meet during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The consumer watchdog launched an investigation into the claims after it received more than 100 enquiries about Noel Leeming, including enquiries from consumers who had not received products within the delivery timeframes suggested, those who were experiencing difficulties contacting the group to discuss delivery delays and those that had not received a refund for delayed deliveries when requested.
The commission believes Noel Leeming Group like breached the Fair Trading Act on 26 June and 2 July, when it advertised a DJI Ronin-SC Control Cable with a 1–2 week time frame for expected delivery, despite having “an overdue existing order and was not taking any steps to establish with its supplier the reasons for the delay, availability of the product or expected delivery time frames”.
Commissioner Anna Rawlings said the group faced unprecedented consumer demand and its delivery services were significantly impacted during this time.
But the retailer “should have taken a more cautious approach to representations it made about product availability and delivery time frames”.
“During the changing Covid-19 Alert Levels consumers had reduced ability to shop around for available or alternative products. Consumers were, therefore, heavily reliant on representations about availability and delivery times,” Rawlings said.
The commission said Noel Leeming had co-operated with the investigations and had since “amended its approach to delivery representations”.
Noel Leeming chief customer officer, Jonathan Waecker, said the electronics group had learnt from the experience.
“As always, we were trying to do the right thing, but given the extreme pressures lockdown placed on our systems and our team, we weren’t able to manage it in this instance. We’ve learnt from it.”
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