Consumers have various rights under the Australia Consumer Law (“ACL”).
What are the guarantees?
Guarantees relating to products include:
- products must be fit for purpose, free of defects, safe and durable;
- acceptable in appearance and finish; the product must perform as it would be expected to perform;
- the product must be consistent with the way it has been described in advertising and marketing and must match any display product. It must do the job that it has been promoted as being able to do;
- when you buy a product, you must gain full title to the product;
- there should be no hidden debts or charges associated with the purchase;
- and there must be spare parts and repairs facilities available for a reasonable time after the purchase has been made.
Guarantees relating to services include:
- the service must be provided with due care and skill;
- the service provided will be fit for the purpose that you had agreed to;
- and the service is to be provided within a reasonable time.
Common remedies are repair, replacement or refund (at the election of the retailer or manufacturer).
Who can I claim a remedy from?
The first point of contact will be the retailer of the goods or services. You may be able to claim a remedy direct from the manufacturer or importer if a product is not of acceptable quality, does not match its description, does not meet the promises made regarding performance, condition and quality or if spare parts and repair facilities are not available for a reasonable time.
What if the manufacturer of the product is based overseas?
It is up to the importer of a product to meet the manufacturers guarantee obligations to the consumer.
Are there any exceptions to the guarantees?
You cannot make a claim on a consumer guarantee if you have changed your mind and no longer want the product or service, or if you have misused the service or were aware of the limitations of the product or service before you purchased. There are other circumstances in which the guarantees may not apply.
Where can I get more information on consumer rights?
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 1300 302 502 Indigenous Infoline: 1300 303 143 www.accc.gov.au
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission 1300 300 630 www.asic.gov.au
- New South Wales NSW Fair Trading 13 3220 www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
- Victoria Consumer Affairs Victoria 1300 558 181 www.consumer.vic.gov.au
- Queensland Office of Fair Trading 13 7468 www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au
- Western Australia Department of Commerce 1300 304 054 www.commerce.wa.gov.au
- South Australia Office of Consumer and Business Affairs (08) 8204 9777 www.ocba.sa.gov.au
- Northern Territory Consumer Affairs 1800 019 319 www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au
- Tasmania Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading 1300 654 499 www.consumer.tas.gov.au
- Australian Capital Territory Office of Regulatory Services (02) 6207 3000 www.ors.act.gov.au