Oscar Wylee accused of misleading customers about donating glasses to charity

Oscar Wylee accused of misleading customers about donating glasses to charity

Youth-leaning eyewear company Oscar Wylee has been taken to the Federal Court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly misleading customers.

The allegations revolve around a campaign run by Oscar Wylee during which the eyewear company said it would donate a pair of glasses to someone in need every time a customer bought a pair.

The ACCC alleges that this statement, made online and in stores, was misleading as Oscar Wylee only donated around 3,000 pairs of glasses during the relevant period despite selling over 320,000 pairs of glasses.

Additionally, the ACCC claims that Oscar Wylee made misrepresentations about a partnership with Rose Charities.

The eyewear retailer made representations until at least December 2018 that it was partnering with Rose Charities to build sustainable eye care programs in Cambodia and donate money to the training of an eye surgeon.

However, the ACCC alleges that during the period the representations were made Oscar Wylee only donated $2000 plus 100 frames.

The watchdog further claims that Oscar Wylee discontinued its support of Rose Charities after February 2014, despite the partnership representations continuing to be made for almost five years.

"These alleged false or misleading claims presented Oscar Wylee as engaged in significant charitable activity, and exploited consumers' desire to support charitable causes," says ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

"We are concerned that consumers may have chosen Oscar Wylee over other eyewear companies because they believed their purchase would result in Oscar Wylee providing glasses to people in need and supporting a sustainable eye care program in Cambodia."

"Businesses must ensure that if they make claims about their charitable donations, affiliations or partnerships, they are true and can be substantiated."

Oscar Wylee has rejected the ACCC's allegations, with the glasses retailer saying it will defend the legal action.

"We utterly reject the allegations made by the ACCC, which do not reflect the range and scale of the community and charitable contributions made by Oscar Wylee," says Oscar Wylee.

"Since its founding in 2012, Oscar Wylee has proudly undertaken a range of programs in line with an ongoing commitment to corporate social responsibility."

"Oscar Wylee has to date donated more than 350,000 pairs of glasses to charity organisations including Sight for All. Monetary donations in that period total $130,865."

"We take our corporate and social responsibility seriously and have always acted with good intentions." 

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