Following ASIC action, five appliance rental companies have agreed to refund consumers for rental payments accepted without valid licenses to provide consumer leases:
- Goldhype Pty Ltd (trading as Smart Link Rentals)
- Innova Enterprise Pty Ltd (trading as Ezi Keep Rentals)
- ATM Ventures Pty Ltd (trading as Rent To Keep and Rent2Keep)
- Karma USSB Pty Ltd (trading as Rent Ezi Appliance Rentals), and
- Gattcorp Holdings Pty Limited (trading as Want It Rent It).
As a result of ASIC’s actions, over $230,000 has been refunded to 115 consumers, the majority of whom were in receipt of Centrelink benefits, who entered into contracts with these lease providers.
These businesses offered leases to consumers for household items and consumer electronics such as mobile phones, computers and televisions.
Under the outcome agreed with ASIC, the businesses have agreed to collect only the cost price of the rented goods, and refund any amounts already received from consumers over that amount. They have also agreed to transfer ownership of the goods to the consumers once the cost price had been paid, and to stop offering regulated consumer leases.
ASIC has also imposed an additional condition on Smart Link Rentals’ Australian credit licence. Smart Link Rentals is required to engage an independent consultant to review its compliance with its obligations under the credit legislation over a 12 month period.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, ‘The licensing regime is designed to provide safeguards for consumers, and dealing with someone who does not hold an Australian credit licence means there is no recourse to important consumer rights like the right to access a free external dispute resolution scheme. ASIC will continue to take action where it identifies operators who are falling foul of the law.’