A tax time promotion by retail giant Kogan promised 10 per cent discounts to customers, but some customers ended up paying more for their products.
Now the promotion has cost Kogan $350,000.
The retailer was found to have deceived and misled customers in mid-2018 with an end of financial year promotion offering a 10 per cent discount on some products between June 27 and 30 with the code “taxtime” at checkout.
But after an investigation by the consumer watchdog, the Federal Court found Kogan had increased its prices ahead of the promotion and then reduced them again on July 2.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said the price reductions weren’t genuine savings and many customers who bought one of the 600 or more products actually paid the same or more for their items than they would have immediately before and after the promotion.
The ACCC had pushed for a $2 million penalty, arguing the retailer showed no contrition for its actions.
Federal Court Judge Jennifer Davies said two days after the ACCC began legal proceedings Kogan advertised another tax time promotion, telling customers it would “reduce current website prices by 10 per cent at checkout”.
It also updated its disclaimer about the dynamic nature of the company’s pricing, she said.
While she found the penalty sought by the ACCC was too high she also rejected a $150,000 penalty suggestion from Kogan.