Naomi Simson’s Red Balloon fined $43,200 by consumer watchdog: “It’s a very expensive lesson”

Corporate gift company Red Balloon  has been fined $43,200 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly overcharging four customers for “excessive payment surcharges” on credit card purchases.

The company, founded by Shark Tank investor Naomi Simson, was found to have fallen foul of the nation’s excessive surcharges ban which has applied to large businesses since September 2016, and recently came into effect for SMEs in September 2017.

However, speaking to SmartCompany, Simson said she wasn’t aware her business came under the definition of a “large business” as defined by the excessive surcharges law, saying to her Red Balloon “still feels like a startup”.

“I’ve always thought of as small, and there’s a number of different definitions of small business depending on what government authority you’re speaking to,” she says.

Simson was not directly involved with Red Balloon at the time of the issues, being on board only as founder and director. Both the chief executive and chief financial officer who were at the helm have since left the business. Read more

Dominic Powell - Smart Company - 20 Nov 2017


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