Australian consumer commission moves on Y2K franchiser

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has rapped a company offering franchises in Y2K services - saying that Millennium Solutions mispresented its product and the likely earnings it would bring and that it falsely claimed to have government support and a technical support staff of 350.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that a Year 2000 franchisor, Millennium Solutions Australia, breached the mandatory franchising code of conduct.

According to the ACCC's allegations, Millennium Solutions Australia:

- Claimed its product would work in place of tailor-made Y2K compliance programs when in fact, the product had limited application and might not work on some computer systems;

- Indicated it had 350 technical support staff as well as an administration, marketing and consultant support infrastructure, when it did not;

- Claimed, without reasonable basis, that distributors or franchisees could earn $600,000 per year;

- Falsely represented that the company had the support or approval of government;

- Claimed that distributors and franchisees would need a lower level of IT skills than was actually the case;

- Represented that distributors and franchisees would receive stock, when in fact the company had no intention of supplying sufficient stock in a reasonable time period.

In addition The ACCC has filed proceedings, in the Federal Court in Melbourne, against Millennium Solutions Australia, alleging the company engaged in 'misleading and deceptive' conduct in its promotion of franchises for Y2K software and support services.

Millennium Diagnostics Victoria and Millennium Solutions Group Australasia are also facing action over ACCC allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct in connection with promotion of similar franchises.

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