A Melbourne-based tractor and machinery dealer is facing action in the Federal Court over allegations it misled customers about warranties and after-sales service.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted legal proceedings against AA Machinery Pty Ltd (trading as Agrison) which operates from a large site at Campbellfield near Melbourne airport.
The ACCC has alleged that from at least August, 2017, Agrison had represented on its website and in print and social media that its tractors would be fully supported by a five-year nationwide warranty, a national after-sales service network and access to spare parts and that Agrison would provide timely after-sales service to customers if problems occurred.
But the competition watchdog has alleged that customers who sought assistance from Agrison after experiencing problems with their Agrison tractors found the company did not have a service network available to provide after-sales service or repairs throughout Australia.
It claimed the warranty was a limited "parts only" warranty and that spare parts were not available in a reasonable time frame or at all.
A number of Agrison customers complained to the ACCC that their machinery had serious defects such as brakes failing and hydraulic systems leaking or not working which they were unable to get repaired by Agrison.
They were also unable to get the correct spare parts to repair their machinery, and these issues were not resolved when the customers raised them with Agrison, the ACCC said.
"Tractors can be a substantial expense for farmers, so it's important they work properly and that the promised level of support is available when they break down," ACCC deputy chairman Mick Keogh said.
"We allege that, when deciding to make the significant purchase of an Agrison tractor, consumers may have taken into account the false or misleading claims Agrison made regarding the warranty offered and the availability of service, repairs and spare parts.
"All businesses are reminded that they must not make misleading claims about the availability of spare parts or the effect of any warranty," Mr Keogh said.
The ACCC is seeking orders including declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties and costs.
Agrison imports a wide range of tractors, wheel loaders, diesel generators, mini excavators, forklifts, dozers and farming implements.
It supplies a range of farm equipment to Australian consumers including several models of Agrison branded tractors and wheel loaders ranging in price from $18,000 to $60,000.
The story Vic tractor seller hauled into court by competition watchdog first appeared on Farm Online.