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Unsolicited Graduation Ball Photos - Am I Responsible?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by DadyO, 9 July 2014.

  1. DadyO

    DadyO Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    My daughter had her year 12 graduation ball and as usual there was a photographer.
    Almost everybody had photos taken and I believe no papers were filled in. All she was asked to do was write her name and address on a piece of paper and hold it in the first photo.

    She visited the photographer's web site and decided no to buy.

    Some time later, she received an envelope with a photo pack and an invoice ($139). As we had not placed an order I chose to do nothing. A couple of weeks later, we received a further invoice, now addressed to parent/guardian asking for payment or return of photos (to avoid additional costs).

    I don't believe I am responsible under Australian Consumer Law to do anything as I didn't ask for the photos, and my daughter is too young to enter into a contract.

    I think the safest action is to send them an email advising that we did not place an order and I will will make the photos available for collection at a time convenient to me. If the photos are not collected they will be disposed of in 30 days.

    Do you think I missed anything as I assume I have some responsibility to care for their property (photos)?
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @DadyO
    If the photo pack simply requests you to pay for the photos OR return the photos AND you don't want to purchase the photos, then your proposed action appears reasonable. That said, you may also consider the option of the photographer supplying a reply paid address for you to return the photos to at their postage cost. Hope this helps.
     
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  3. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Hello DadyO

    This response is rather more detailed however ends at a similar place to you and John R.

    From your description of the facts, in this case it would seem that solicitation of your contact details was very much engineered by the seller and not an invitation by you to their sales team to mail to you the photos.

    A business does not have a right to be paid just because they have sent unsolicited goods to someone. If a business issues an invoice with an amount to be paid, the business must REASONABLY believe they have a right to be paid; or ensure the invoice prominently displays the warning required by the Australian Consumer Law (the ACL): ‘This is not a bill. You are not required to pay any money’ . The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) has previously issued significant fines to businesses which have failed to comply with the relevant ACL provisions.

    If you have a moment, check out section 41 of the ACL (which is set out in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) and accessible through this link: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2011C00003/Html/Volume_3#param96.

    Perhaps consider, in order to be on the safe side, the following action:

    1. give a notice in line with the requirements in section 41(5), namely: the notice must be in writing; must state the name and address of the person who received the goods; must state the address at which possession may be taken of the goods, if it is not the address of the person; and (d) must contain a statement to the effect that the goods are unsolicited goods; AND

    2. hold onto the photos for collection for one month following the day after your notice (the 'Recovery Period') to comply with section 41(4)(b). You're exactly right, because you received the photos you should not damage them during the Recovery Period. If the photos are not collected during the Recovery Period, you don't need to destroy them, but can keep them.

    Hugh
     
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  4. DadyO

    DadyO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for both of the reply's.
    Its much as I suspected. The only reason I'm putting in any effort is that these deceptive sales techniques rub me the wrong way!
     
  5. Toqual

    Toqual Well-Known Member

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    Hahaha indeed! I had this door-to-door salesman come to my door, and he claimed he would not leave unless I purchased an item. I then began to remind him of the law and began to pick up my phone then he fled!
     

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