• legislation/deal

Fitness watchmaker Garmin has agreed to stop using ‘lifetime’ claims in the advertising of navigation services.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC ) raised concerns these statements were potentially false, misleading or deceptive.

Garmin Australasia made lifetime claims in marketing on its website, on packaging and point-of-sale marketing, retail catalogues and online.

Despite these statements, Garmin retained the discretion to stop providing lifetime services before the end of the lifetime of the device in certain circumstances.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said these limitations were not communicated to consumers in a prominent way.

“We believe the statements about ‘lifetime’ services made by these GPS manufacturers were inconsistent with what consumers would understand ‘lifetime’ to mean.

“Consumers would have rightly expected to receive those services for the lifetime of the device, without the manufacturer being able to unilaterally terminate the commitment,” Court said.

“Businesses must not deceive or mislead consumers in advertising, whether through small print, or by using ill-defined, broad terms like ‘lifetime’, and they should take care to use terms that match the understanding of consumers.”

“We also encourage consumers to invoke their consumer rights if they believe they have been misled or are not getting what they paid for.”

Garmin has agreed to amend statements on all future advertising and marketing materials, including packaging.

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