ACCC: EasyMeals admits misleading consumers

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stated that online food retailer EasyMeals by Flavour Makers Pty Ltd (EasyMeals) has provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC in relation to its conduct in the marketing and supply of its pre-packaged meals.

EasyMeals has admitted it contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by:

  • representing that EasyMeals' meals were suitable for all diabetics, when in fact, the suitability of the meals for diabetics depends upon the individual diabetic, their diet, and the severity of their condition;
  • making false or misleading representations that consumers could get a free meal simply by providing their contact information, when consumers could only obtain a free meal if they purchased a meal from EasyMeals first; and
  • failing to provide customers who had received unsolicited telemarketing calls with the information required by the unsolicited consumer agreements provisions of the ACL.

The ACCC's investigation was prompted by a complaint from Anglicare Northern Territory, on behalf of a newly arrived migrant who was not fluent in English. The consumer had received telemarketing calls from EasyMeals, during which EasyMeals represented that its meals would be suitable for the consumer's diabetes.

Following ACCC engagement, EasyMeals refunded the consumer; undertook an internal investigation aimed at implementing corrective measures; cooperated with the ACCC's investigation; and agreed to rectify its practices to ensure future compliance with the ACL.

EasyMeals also offered a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC. The undertaking prohibits EasyMeals from engaging in similar conduct for a period of three years, and requires EasyMeals to implement and regularly review an ACL compliance program. The undertaking also requires EasyMeals to place a corrective notice on its website for a period of 60 days.

 

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