THE Federal Court has ruled that Refund Home Loans founder Wayne Ormond (pictured) made misleading statements to franchisees about approvals from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Ormond admits he violated the Trade Practice Act 1974 by telling franchisees false statements about meetings with the ACCC.
Misleading and false comments found to made by Ormond to franchisees included: “Now I’ve spoken to the ACCC. I’ve done everything in accordance with the law," and: “Mate, I’ve had meetings with Graeme Samuel (ACCC chairman) himself. I have nothing to worry about.”
The result follows proceedings that began in October 2009, which will now restrain Ormond from making representations for franchisees in the future, with the implementation of a trade practice law compliance program he will need to train for.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel says franchisees and franchisors have a special relationship where trust should not be abused.
“Using the name of the ACCC or individual ACCC officers as a means of discouraging franchisees from exploring their own legal rights is reprehensible,” says Samuel.
“Franchisors and franchisees have a special business relationship. Franchisees trust their franchisor to provide honest and reliable information as to their own business and about franchising generally and to mislead them in this way is an abuse of trust.”
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