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17 December 2020

Noel Leeming warned over delivery claims

100 complaints lead to caution for big box retailer.

Noel Leeming has been warned by the Commerce Commission over delivery promises the electronics retailer made during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The commission investigated after fielding inquiries from 100 Noel Leeming customers who hadn’t received products within delivery times stated by the retailer, were having difficulties contacting the store and weren’t getting a refund when requested.

The commission believed Noel Leeming was likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act by claiming products would be delivered within a set time frame when it didn’t have reasonable grounds for the claim.

On April 5 and 6, the retailer accepted payment for 37 Amazon Kindle 4GB 2019 products when it had none left to meet orders. The retailer pulled the item from sale on April 6, then offered customers a refund on April 16.

On 26 June and 2 July, Noel Leeming advertised a DJI Ronin-SC Control Cable as having an expected one- to two-week time frame for delivery. However, it already had an overdue existing order and hadn’t established product availability or expected delivery dates.

Commission Chair Anna Rawlings said that while Noel Leeming faced “unprecedented consumer demand” during this period, it should have been more cautious in its representations about product availability and delivery time frames. It was much harder for consumers to shop around during the changing Covid-19 Alert Levels.

“Consumers were, therefore, heavily reliant on representations about availability and delivery times,” Ms Rawlings said.

Noel Leeming co-operated with the commission’s investigation and has changed its delivery representations.

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