Australia’s biggest class action has been launched against national hardware retailer Bunnings but the company says it is confident of successfully defending itself.
The action being taken in the Federal Court under national consumer law seeks $79.8 billion in compensation on behalf of 8 million of the chain’s customers who allege they were misled into buying “non-kink” garden hoses over the past decade.
Sue Forcash, principal of Billings & Feez, the Brisbane-based law firm leading the class action, said it would be alleged that Bunnings knowingly misrepresented garden hoses it sold to its customers.
“Bunnings has for years been flogging garden hoses labelled ‘non-kink’ for anything from $6 right up to several hundred dollars each,” Ms Forcash said.
“Yet every single customer who bought a ‘non-kink’ hose knows that one of the first things it does when used is to kink – often in many places along the length of the hose – and cut off water supply. (main picture)
“We will be claiming that the eight million Bunnings’ customers who have joined this historic class action are entitled to a full refund for all the hoses they have bought in the past decade plus financial compensation for the personal distress they have suffered as a result.”
But a spokesperson for Bunnings said the company believed it would easily defend itself and have all of the claims dismissed.
“Sure, every single garden hose we sell kinks,” the spokesperson said. “But we totally reject any allegation that we have misled our customers.
“Like just about everything else we stock in our stores our garden hoses are made in China, specifically in the city of Non-Kink in the southern Chinese province of Hunan.
“We clearly label every garden hose as a Non-Kink product. Bunnings has grown to be one of the biggest buyers of Non-Kink garden hoses.
“In fact our merchandising staff make an annual visit there to source new hose products and they’re always given a very warm welcome,” the spokesperson said. (pictured)