Repair, Replacement, Or Refund Under The Australian Consumer Law
Have you ever purchased a product that didn’t work for its intended purpose, stopped working altogether, or simply wasn’t up to the standard you expected? Well, you’re not alone. The Australian Consumer Law (‘ACL’) is there to protect your hard-earned money spent on less-than unsatisfactory products. The consumer protections within the ACL are designed to ensure that sellers and manufacturers meet a minimum standard of fairness, quality, and safety.
Under the ACL, you will be considered a consumer if you meet the following requirements:
• the amount you paid for the goods was under $100,000; or
• you purchased goods that are ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic, or household, use or consumption; or
• you purchased a vehicle or trailer acquired for use principally in the transport of goods on public roads.
Division 1 of the The Australian Consumer Law ACL provides for consumer guarantees, meaning that sellers and manufacturers must provide and meet a number of guarantees, including:
• for the supply of goods:
(i) guarantee as to title;
(ii) guarantee as to undisturbed possession;
(iii) guarantee as to undisclosed securities;
(iv) guarantee as to acceptable quality;
(v) guarantee as to fitness for any disclosed purpose;
(vi) guarantee relating to the supply of goods by description;
(vii) guarantees relating to the supply of goods by sample or demonstration model;
(viii) guarantee as to repairs and spare parts; and
(ix) guarantee as to express warranties;
• for the supply services:
(i) guarantee as to due care and skill;
(ii) guarantees as to fitness for a particular purpose; and
(iii) guarantee as to reasonable time for supply.
Sellers and manufacturers cannot contract out of the The Australian Consumer Law ACL’s consumer guarantees, where the ACL provides for various remedies if the seller or manufacturer contravenes any of the guarantee requirements set out above. The remedies which consumers are entitled too upon a breach of the guarantees are set out in Part 5-4 of the ACL and depend upon the seriousness of the breach, albeit may include:
• rejection of goods;
• replacement of goods;
• termination of contracts;
• a requirement that the supplier remedy the failure to comply with a guarantee; and
• damages / compensation.
Importantly, under the ACL, an affected consumer must commence an action for damages under Part 5-4 at any time within three years after the day on which the affected person first became aware, or ought reasonably to have become aware, that the guarantee to which the action relates had not been complied with.
KEY TAKEAWAY’S FOR CONSUMERS
The ACL sets out all your consumer rights ensuring that your hard-earned money has not gone to waste. If you have recently purchased a product that fails to meet a consumer guarantee, you may have rights to a repair, replacement, or refund, as well as compensation for damages or loss. If you wish to discuss any action against a seller or manufacturer, Ramsden Lawyers can assist you with navigating your way through the ACL and your potential claim.
KEY TAKEAWAY’S FOR BUSINESSES
Businesses have strict legal obligations under the ACL. With that said, even the largest sellers and manufacturers get it wrong at times, and business owners should be wary when making business decisions that may breach the ACL. In the event a customer or client alleges that your business has breached the ACL, it is vital that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. You can read more on our website by clicking the following link.
OUR ROLE IN LITIGATION AND YOUR BUSINESSES SUCCESS
If you are seeking legal advice as a business or consumer, Ramsden Lawyers are able to assist you. We are happy to arrange an initial consultation to assist you in navigating the procedures set out under the relevant legislation for your circumstances. We have a litigation team to assist in any proceedings you wish to commence or defend, and a business team to assist you in understanding your obligations under relevant law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and must not be relied on as legal advice. Specific advice should be sought about your circumstances.
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