The caravan industry has been under enormous pressure through unprecedented demand from Australians looking to experience the caravanning and camping lifestyle (amid a global explosion of consumer interest towards the sector), and supply issues generated out of COVID-19 labour shortages and supply chain delays, primarily out of China.
“While the vast majority of industry businesses understand and adhere to their consumer obligations and supplier indemnification responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law, there always remain opportunities for individual improvement”, said Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO Stuart Lamont.
The release of the ACCC report – “New caravan retailing: ensuring compliance with the Australian Consumer Law” today is a timely reminder of supplier and manufacturer obligations under the ACL.
This is in response to feedback received from consumer and retailer surveys conducted by the ACCC in late 2021. The regulator previously highlighted that empowering consumers and improving industry compliance with consumer guarantees in the caravan industry (and other high value goods) remain a compliance and enforcement priority for the ACCC.
The report provides specific guidance and advice reminding manufacturers and suppliers of their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law, with particular reference to the four topics described below:
- dealing with delays in the supply and repair of caravans;
- the accurate advertising and descriptions of caravans and any associated warranties by suppliers;
- consumer reports indicating that consumer guarantee failures are widespread; and
- caravan manufacturers must reimburse suppliers for the cost of providing remedies to consumers.
“The purchase of a caravan is not only a large financial purchase but one which is tied with much emotion, and is highly valued and aspirational”, said Mr Lamont.
“The National body will work closely with industry in assisting them to further understand their obligations in dealing with consumers, and industry businesses along the supply chain, so that consumer expectations are met.”
Caravan Industry Association of Australia supports and welcomes a collaborative approach with the ACCC regarding the contents of the report, and other ACL matters impacting the sector.