Make it Mine Finance Pty Ltd (Make it Mine), a credit licensee based in Bayswater, Victoria, has paid $20,400 in penalties after ASIC issued two infringement notices for making misleading representations on its website.
Make it Mine, whose business is the rental of white goods and electronic devices, operates nationally via its website. In 2013, it used its website to:
- advertise a $1 buyout opportunity and state that over 99% of customers with a good payment record had received the $1 buyout (infringement 1), and
- state, in relation to a ‘40,000 Customer Survey November 2012’, that ‘94.845% tell their friends’, and ‘95.29% more than satisfied’ (infringement 2).
In relation to infringement 1, ASIC’s concern was that there was no right to purchase rented items in the contracts between Make it Mine and its customers and that no customers had received a $1 buyout at the time that these statements were made.
In relation to infringement 2, ASIC’s concern was that the statements were not based on a relevant survey and misled readers about Make it Mine’s quality of service and the satisfaction of its customers.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, ‘Make it Mine’s statements were fundamentally misleading. Consumers pay particular attention to claims about customer benefits and customer satisfaction, so it is vital that these are accurate and truthful.’
Make it Mine Finance has removed the misleading ads.
ASIC’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.
The payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001 consumer protection provisions. ASIC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.