Dick Smith customer database now with Kogan

Shoppers have until 22 March to say no to the transfer of their personal info.

Deadline looms

The new owner of the Dick Smith online business, the online retailer Kogan, has given Dick Smith customers until 22 March to opt out of having their personal information transferred over.

But the sale of the business still leaves Dick Smith gift card holders in the lurch.

Dick Smith receiver Ferrier Hodgson recently posted an ad calling for "urgent expressions of interest" for the intellectual property of Dick Smith Holdings, including customer details. 

All Dick Smith stores officially closed shop last month after Ferrier Hodgson announced it couldn't find an acceptable buyer to rescue the business. According to the company's Privacy Policy, the information Dick Smith collected under the Privacy Act 1988 included:

  • The name, address, contact details, signature and age of its customers. 
  • It may also have included storing a customer's proof of ID, passport number and social media details.

The policy says it adheres to the Australian Privacy Principles (APP), which includes the following:

If an APP entity holds personal information about an individual that was collected for a particular purpose (the primary purpose), the entity must not use or disclose the information for another purpose (the secondary purpose) unless the individual has consented to the use or disclosure of the information.

And on a form where customers could sign up for promotions, the store promised that "Dick Smith will never sell or share your information".

Ferrier Hodgson responds

Ferrier Hodgson partner Jim Sarantinos told CHOICE following the announcement of the data base sale that it would stick by Dick Smith's APP commitments.

"The receivers are aware of their obligations under the privacy legislation in Australia and New Zealand regarding the use and disclosure of personal information. Any sale which may take place in the future would not be in breach of those obligations," Sarantinos said.  

"The receivers will communicate with all customers on the database ahead of any sale, and customers will be provided with an election in relation to their personal information being included in any sale."

What about my Dick Smith gift card? 

Kogan told CHOICE that its purchase of the online business doesn't leave Dick Smith gift card holders any better off than they were when the businesses went into administration.

Kogan spokesperson Vuki Vujasinovic said: "Holders of gift cards should speak to the Receivers, in respect of any entitlement of remaining credit on the cards. Kogan.com has offered a $25 Kogan.com gift voucher in exchange for any gift card posted to Kogan."

"Alternately, holders of Dick Smith gift cards may be entitled to claim a refund from the retailer at which they purchased the gift card, or may be able to process a charge-back through their credit card provider if they paid by credit card."

Both Coles and Woolworths have agreed to exchange Dick Smith cards purchased at their stores with a Coles or Woolies gift card of equal value.

Gift cards are also exchangeable at Big W (owned by Woolies), but so far Coles has limited the offer to Coles supermarkets and left out other Wesfarmers stores, which include Bunnings, Kmart and Target.

Gift card exchanges may not be available in-store.