As reported in the Verge, Apple’s iPad ‘4G’ advertising labeled misleading by Australian watchdog, may be banned. The same can be said for the fictitious 4G on my iPhone 4S.
As a proud Aussie, I am a fan of the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and Australia’s Trade Practices Act that supports them. In short, companies cannot lie or mislead customers in any way, or the ACCC can nail them and force them to make things right.
As an Aussie living in New York, I see the lies and misrepresentations of American companies every day. Most advertising here would violate the ACCC rules, from misrepresenting the rate on mortgages or insurance pricing, to the total cost of mobile services to the service levels offered themselves.
We all know that Obama created a Consumer Protection Agency with support from Congress with the express purpose of doing what the ACCC does. Yet Congress then defanged the organization, removed its funding and refuses to even nominate its first leader. It’s too bad for the average American consumer, they will continue to pay more for less service, and companies will continue to get away with misrepresentation.
“Let the buyer beware” capitalism only works when the buyer has a better option. That is not the case here.
I hope the ACCC wins this round, and that other countries including the USA take note.