CompassCorp Pty Ltd (Compass) has welcomed the outcome of the ACCC investigation into its engagement and communication with customers.
Chief Executive, James Frape, said Compass wanted to ensure that customers were fully aware of their obligations when being provided with a rental vehicle through an accident that was no fault of their own.
“Providing transparency around the contracts customers sign and the information they receive is vital to the business and the overall industry” Frape said.
“As a leading provider of accident replacement vehicles across Australia with over a decade of experience in the credit hire sector we have endeavoured to streamline our processes, particularly with the information we provide to customers. However, discussions with the ACCC have prompted us to provide additional details to customers in regards to their agreement with Compass.
“We have co-operated with the ACCC to ensure that all of our communication around contracts clearly advises customers of the terms and conditions they are signing up for. Compass considers it is now leading the industry in disclosure requirements. We encourage other groups in the credit hire sector to implement similar changes to ensure better up front information to customers. ”
Compass has taken a number of steps including:
• Instructing Compass staff to read a script during the initial call with consumers to ensure consumers are aware of their contractual obligations.
• Amending its website to provide greater clarity to consumers.
• Providing additional details in certain promotional brochures.
• Providing the full contract to consumers at an early stage, to provide additional time for consumers to consider their contractual obligations before committing to the service.
In line with Compass's focus on customer advocacy the above actions have already been implemented.
The ACCC considered Compass was misrepresenting in brochures, its website and in phone calls that consumers who engaged Compass would not be liable for hire car charges or associated costs. Although Compass waived those charges, its contract only required Compass to do so if it was able to recover the charges from the at-fault party or their insurer.
The ACCC also considered Compass represented that consumers would not have to take any further steps to recover costs arising from their car hire. Instead, a consumer was required to assist Compass, which could include authorising court action in the consumer’s name, providing witness statements and attending court.
“If consumers are not responsible for an accident, they may be entitled to compensation for the costs of hiring a comparable vehicle while repairs are made. Credit hire businesses can help consumers access that compensation, however consumers should be aware of their obligations to that business if they accept that help.," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The ACCC will review the marketing and sales practices of other credit hire businesses and will pursue businesses that mislead consumers,” Rickard said.