Unlike product safety or quality, misrepresentation of a product or services relates to a different form of consumer law, trades practices. Usually these laws are administered on the national level.
Misrepresentation can be in several quite different forms. Generally, misrepresentation occurs when information is given to consumers which is:
How to complain about misrepresentation of products or services
To complain effectively about misrepresentation, you should contact the agency responsible for trades practices prior to taking action.
The agency will require specific information regarding the case to investigate your complaint.
Your letter will need:
The example below relates to a tourist holiday package. The complainant alleges that the information provided by the tour operator and the travel agency was misleading and had no relation to the actual product and services.
Dear Sir or Madam:
False Advertising and misrepresentation of a tourist holiday package
I recently purchased a 28 day family holiday package tour to Fiji from a travel agent acting on behalf of a tour operator.
The information provided by these parties was entirely misleading, and had no resemblance to the actual product and services received.
Product and services informationName of providers: Fantasy Travel
The tour advertised 'Top quality accommodation, transport to hotel, all meals included, island tours, and free local air travel'.
We arrived in Fiji on 31st August at 9 PM. The tour operator didn't appear to take us to our hotel until 4AM after repeated phone calls.
The hotel turned out to be a bed and breakfast establishment in a private home. There wasn't enough room for everyone in the main building, so I wound up sleeping in a garden shed while the family slept in the 'suite', which was a bedroom. We were assured that this was a booking duplication, and it would be sorted out.
The tour operator arrived at 7PM the following day to inform us that the day's tour had been cancelled. I slept in the garden shed for a second night.
The airline informed us that they were unable to transfer our return flight to an immediate flight out. Fortunately, after several days of non delivery of services by the tour operator, they managed to pack us on a mail flight out.
At no point did this tour approach delivery of anything resembling the advertised services. I request legal action be taken against the travel agent who prepared the information contained in the advertisement and the tour provider.
Enclosures:Copies of relevant receipts