A well-known builder has landed a $50,400 penalty, after the corporate regulator found it misled first home buyers in its advertising.
Metricon Homes was issued four infringement notices following representations made in its “2k on our way” campaign for its HomeSolution house and land package.
In response to ASIC’s investigation, Metricon has withdrawn the concerning advertising, and no longer promotes its “2k on your way” offer.
According to a statement from ASIC, the advertisements implied consumers who qualified for the first home owner grant could obtain a Metricon HomeSolution house and land package with a $2,000 deposit.
However, to the contrary, consumers were still required to fund the balance of the prescribed five per cent deposit. ASIC estimates this was approximately $30,000 on a typical $600,000 package, but could be as much as $41,000 on a $825,000 package.
This additional amount was financed through an unsecured personal loan, typically through one of Metricon’s associated finance brokers.
ASIC also said any disclaimer in the HomeSolution advertisements was not prominent enough to effectively qualify the dominant message of the advertising.
Further, consumers were also required to navigate through links on Metricon’s website to the HomeSolution landing page where eligibility conditions were listed in small font at the bottom of that page.