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Western Australian event organisers warned to keep advertising accurate
Consumer Protection WA has issued a stern warning to event organisers and promoters to ensure that their advertising is accurate and a true representation of what ticket buyers will be offered so their experience matches what was promised.
This follows public complaints from people who attended the Bali Fest event at Mandurah, southwest of Perth, over the Easter weekend, with similar complaints being received about the Monster Creature World event at Claremont Showgrounds in January this year.
Disappointed Bali Fest consumers believe they were misled by the marketing hype which over promised but under delivered when it came to the real experience of festival goers.
Bali Fest organisers issued an apology after being inundated with complaints. The five-day event was billed as bringing Bali culture and lifestyle to Australia however furious punters who turned out for the five-day event took to the festival's Facebook page to vent their fury, claiming they were 'very dissatisfied' as 'nothing about the event represented Bali' and labelling it as an 'absolute waste of money'.
Bali Fest kicked-off on Friday promising to bring 'Bali and its culture, food, entertainment, shopping and leisure lifestyle to Australia', with music, bars and markets at a cost of $30 for adults and $16 for children.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said there is a difference between acceptable marketing hype and misleading consumers noting “Consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law are designed to ensure that goods and services, including events, match the description given or advertised, and be of acceptable quality.
“If the imagery and statements used in advertising falsely represents what consumers will actually experience when they attend the event, then the organisers or promoters may be required to offer a partial or full refund, as well as leaving themselves open to enforcement action for making false or misleading representations in breach of the ACL.
“That’s apart from the anger they may experience from disappointed customers who will use social media to post bad reviews which will not augur well for planned future events.
“The same applies to the promotion of music events. There have been issues in the past if the event is cancelled or certain performers who were advertised to attend, don’t turn up. In these cases, organisers should be prepared to provide refunds.”
Consumer Protection is liaising with the Bali Fest organisers and is recommending disappointed consumers lodge a formal complaint if their request to the organisers for a refund is refused.
Complaints can be submitted online on the Consumer Protection website
Image courtesy of Bali Fest Facebook
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