Consumers of services beware!   Everyday all types of businesses are giving sales pitches to try and get your business.  Sometimes the sales pitches are genuine and sometimes you know they are so way out but they can be good entertainment value.   The problem is when a sales pitch seems so genuine and you accept it in good faith and you don’t find out it’s a lie until you’ve paid the $ and not got what you were promised.

A client mentioned to me recently that they had been in a situation where they needed to make a decision about a service offering between two service providers; one was an independent company and the other was a single franchise of a national company.   Despite preferring the professionalism of the independent service provider the customer decided to choose the franchise after being told by them that they could expect an immediate sale as the franchise would have a national network and bigger reach due to being a chain.  

Realistically, it is likely this would only be the case if that franchise owner is the owner of all franchises in the company, as franchises tend to operate independently.  As a result, their single franchise reach is no different to the independent company.  As a consequence a statement like this from the franchise is treading on dangerous ground in regards to Section 18 of Australian Consumer Law.  Section 18 of Australian Consumer Law is all about Misleading and Deceptive Conduct.

If the rest of the franchises do not participate in helping increase the reach of the customer’s product and the customer has made their decision to engage the franchise over the independent based on the information and sales pitch that they do, this is then potentially a breach of Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

So if you are promised the world by a service provider make sure you understand what they are promising.  Ask questions as to how they will deliver and make them accountable on their promises.  This will go a long way to ensure you are not just delivered a sales pitch and that the company knows you make them responsible for their promises.  Ultimately you deserve to get what you are paying for.  It definitely pays to know your rights as an Australian Consumer!

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