Fastway Couriers (Perth), the West Australian regional franchisor of the Fastway Couriers franchise, has copped a $9,000 penalty after the ACCC issued an infringement notice for alleged non-compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct.
The ACCC alleged West Aust Couriers Pty Ltd, trading as Fastway Couriers (Perth), breached the Franchising Code by providing a disclosure document that did not include details of former franchisees that had terminated or transferred their courier franchises to a prospective franchisee.
This information is required by the Code to be included in each disclosure document.
“The ACCC is sending a clear message that it will act to ensure prospective franchisees receive the information required by the Franchising Code so that they are able to make informed decisions about the purchase of a franchise,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“The ACCC has recently taken enforcement action against franchisors who the ACCC alleges are in breach of the Franchising Code, in order to educate franchisors and send a strong message that all franchisors must comply with the Code.”
Fastway Couriers (Perth) has also provided the ACCC with a court enforceable undertaking to address the ACCC’s concerns that it had made false or misleading representations regarding the future earnings of courier franchisees by advertising an “income guarantee” of $1,500 per week for 30 weeks to prospective franchisees.
The ACCC was concerned that prospective franchisees would understand this representation to be the likely income they could therefore expect to earn at the end of the stipulated period.
The company has undertaken to provide actual earnings information to prospective franchisees, and not to describe the offered financial support as an “income guarantee” in future marketing of its courier franchises.
In a statement Fastway Couriers Australia indicates it has reviewed all relevant policies and documents used by its regional franchisees to ensure representations made to potential franchisees are accurate.
Fastway Couriers Australia CEO Peter Lipinski said the company had undertaken a thorough review of all documentation and processes on being made aware of the ACCC’s concerns.
“Following that review, we are confident that this particular regional franchisor has now taken steps to remedy the alleged breaches and as national master franchisor, we will continue to work with our regional franchises to ensure continued compliance,” Lipinski said.
“There was no intent on the part of this regional franchisor to be misleading and they have worked with the ACCC to bring this matter to conclusion.
“Franchising is not for everyone and prospective franchisees need to understand the level of work and involvement required in achieving success. That said, franchising is a vibrant and rewarding sector and we’re proud to be supporting so many successful men and women in running their own businesses right around Australia.”