ACCC launches its first B2B unfair contract terms court action

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Yesterday we started court proceedings against JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd for what we allege are breaches of the new business-to-business unfair contract terms law.
JJ Richards is one of the largest privately-owned waste management companies in Australia.

We allege that until at least April this year, JJ Richards entered into standard form contracts with small businesses that contained eight unfair terms. These terms allowed JJ Richards to, amongst other things:

bind customers to subsequent contracts unless they cancelled the contract within 30 days before the end of the term
unilaterally increase its prices
charge customers for services not performed for reasons that were beyond the customer’s control.

Check out our media release if you’d like to see all eight alleged unfair contract terms.

This is our first court action since the unfair contract terms provisions in the Australian Consumer Law were extended to cover small business standard form contracts at the end of last year.

We are seeking declarations that the terms are unfair and therefore void, as well as orders to prevent JJ Richards from relying on those terms or entering into future small business contracts that contain them.

If you think your small business may be dealing with an unfair contract term, see our webpage for information on your rights.

Small Business team
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

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