Australia now has an official group buying code of conduct, designed to boost consumer confidence in the platform and ensure they make informed choices about purchases, and to promote compliance and best practices within the industry.
a) Ensure consumers have access to products and service information they need to make informed choices
b) Promote compliance within the industry with relevant laws including Competition and Consumer Act 2010, Privacy Act 1988 including the National Privacy Principles and the Spam Act 2003
c) Promote fair, honest, ethical best practice within the group buying industry
d) Increase consumer confidence in dealing with group buying platforms.
The code includes an independent, transparent and open complaint-handling process for consumers who’ve been unable to resolve an issue with a group buying company in the first instance. The process has been designed to encourage the group buying industry to resolve established consumer complaints, and will be managed by the ADMA Code Authority.
The code outlines best practices for group buying platforms, including:
a) Making all communication methods clear so the subscriber fully understands the offer before accepting it
b) Making sure the appropriate policies and procedures are in place and are available to subscribers
c) Ensuring all marketing and electronic messages comply with relevant legislation.
In addition to the code, signatories including Cudo, Groupon, Jump On It, LivingSocial, Ouffer, Spreets, OurDeal and Scoopon, are taking additional steps to reinforce with merchants their obligations under the law.