ACCC HAS IMPROVED ‘TENS OF THOUSANDS’ OF CONTRACTS FOR SMES SINCE NOVEMBER 2016

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) says its only at the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of its efforts to ensure small businesses are not subject to unfair contract terms.

Since 12 November last year, when unfair contract terms laws were extended to small business contracts, the ACCC has taken successful court action against a major waste management company, JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd, for unfair contract terms including an automatic five-year rollover clause, a unilateral price variation term and a broad indemnity provision.

The ACCC has also commenced proceedings against serviced office space provider, Servcorp Ltd, alleging that 19 terms in its Service Agreement used with small business clients are unfair. The matter is currently before the court.

“These cases show the ACCC is serious about enforcing the new laws, and we will continue to take action where appropriate to ensure that small businesses are protected,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“ACCC engagement has seen tens of thousands of new or existing contracts improved, but this is the tip of the iceberg as Australia’s two million small businesses sign an average of eight standard form contracts a year.” Read more

James Harkness - Dynamic Business - 13 Nov 2017

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