The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking computer giant Hewlett-Packard Australia to court, accusing it of giving misleading advice about warranties and customers' rights.
The ACCC says HP informed customers who purchased faulty products that their only means of recourse was limited to measures at HP's own discretion.
This is at odds with consumer law, which dictates that customers' rights regarding refunds and replacements for shonky goods cannot be excluded, limited or modified, the ACCC says.
The ACCC also alleges that HP told consumers they must have faulty goods repaired multiple times before being entitled to a replacement, in contravention of consumer law.
The ACCC alleges that HP told consumers the warranty period for HP products was limited to a specified "express" period, and that following that period repairs were at the customer's own cost.
It also accuses HP of telling customers that products bought from the HP online store could not be returned or exchanged unless agreed to by HP at its sole discretion.
The ACCC launched proceedings against HP in the Federal Court in Sydney today and says the matter is set down for a scheduling conference on December 7.
The firm's website currently carries a prominent link outlining customers' rights as outlined in the Consumer and Competition Act.
HP said it would be looking into the allegations.
“HP takes seriously the matters raised by the ACCC and will fully investigate and respond appropriately,” the company said.