ACCC puts an end to 'Wi-Fi Ready' marketing claims

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Seamus Byrne is the Editor of CNET Australia. At other times he'll be found messing with apps, watching TV, building LEGO, and rolling dice. Usually at the same time.

(Credit: Wi-Fi Alliance)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has declared the use of "Wi-Fi Ready" misleading on devices that require additional hardware. Five major manufacturers are changing relevant marketing to comply with the review.

In a news release, the ACCC pointed to televisions and Blu-ray players as the focus of the review of marketing practices.

Manufacturers will either remove the terms "Wi-Fi Ready" or "Wireless LAN Ready" from their promotional materials and websites or, if those terms appear, they must be accompanied by prominent statements, such as "USB Wireless LAN adaptor required", "Wi-Fi Capable with Optional Adapter" or similar.

The ACCC took action after receiving a complaint from a consumer who had purchased a TV, promoted in a retail store as "Wireless LAN Ready", believing that once the TV was installed, he would be able to wirelessly access the existing home network and internet connection. Instead, after connecting the TV, a message appeared on the screen stating "Wireless USB device not found. Insert a compatible wireless device into the TV's USB port and try again". The consumer contacted the manufacturer and was told that a Wi-Fi adaptor was needed before the TV could access the home Wi-Fi, and that the Wi-Fi adaptor would cost an additional $100 to $120.

After consultation, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sharp have "cooperated positively with the ACCC, and changed their marketing practices to make sure they fully inform consumers about the Wi-Fi accessibility of their products".

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