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In our daily lives, we are always buying products or services. When we buy those products or services for value, we become consumers. To make sure that we get the best value for our purchase, we need to understand our rights and obligations as a consumer. In this article, I am trying to portray 5 important things to know about the Consumer Guarantee which is a right granted to all consumers in Australia by the Australian Consumer Law.
1. What is Consumer Guarantee?
Under the Australian Consumer Law, when you buy products and services, they come with automatic quality guarantees. It is an implied guarantee that the product will work and the services will be as promised. That is called the consumer guarantee. If you buy something that fails to provide what the seller said it would, you will have consumer rights against such failure of performance.
Consumer guarantees on products and services also apply to:
bundled products and services
gifts with proof of purchase
online products and services bought from Australian businesses
second-hand products from businesses, considering the age and condition of the products.
2. Which Products and Services are guaranteed under Australian Consumer Law?
According to Australian Consumer Law, businesses must guarantee products and services that they sell, hire or lease for-
over $100,000 that are normally bought for personal or household use.
Business vehicles and trailers are also covered under consumer guarantees, irrespective of cost, provided they are used mainly to transport goods.
Businesses must provide these automatic guarantees in addition to any other warranties they might give or sell you.
If a business fails to deliver any of these guarantees, you will have consumer rights to claim-
repair, replacement or refund,
cancellation of a service,
compensation for damages & loss.
3. What is meant by Acceptable Quality Products and Services?
Acceptable Quality Products-
According to the Australian Consumer Law, products must be of acceptable quality. To be of acceptable quality, a product must be-
safe, lasting, with no faults,
do all the things someone would normally expect them to do.
Acceptable quality includes what would normally be expected for the particular type of product and its cost.
To be acceptable, products must:
match descriptions made by the salesperson, on packaging and labels, and in promotions or advertising,
match any demonstration model or sample that is provided to you,
be fit for the purpose as promised by the seller and for any purpose that you made known to the seller before purchasing,
come with full title and ownership,
not carry any hidden debts or extra charges,
come with undisturbed possession, so no one has a right to take the goods away or prevent you from using those,
meet any extra promises made about performance, condition and quality, such as lifetime guarantees and money-back offers,
have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable time after purchase unless you were told otherwise.
Acceptable Quality Services-
To be of acceptable quality, services must be-
provided with care and skill or technical knowledge and
taking all necessary steps to avoid any loss and damage,
fit for the purpose or provide the agreed outcome,
delivered within a reasonable time if there is no agreed end date.
4. What happens if the Consumer Guarantees are not met?
If a product or service fails to meet the consumer guarantee, you as a consumer will have the rights against the supplier and the manufacturer. In such a case, the supplier or the manufacturer will have to provide you with a ‘remedy’ for such a fault, deficiency or failure to meet the obligation. If a supplier fails to meet a guarantee, they may have to provide the following remedies to the consumer-
a repair, replacement or refund,
cancellation of service;
compensation for damages and loss.
If a manufacturer fails to meet a guarantee, you will be entitled to recover damages as a consumer. In some circumstances, you may ask for additional damages for reasonably foreseeable consequential loss. Consumer protection agencies may take action on your behalf when a supplier or manufacturer fails to meet their obligation under the consumer guarantees.
5. When are you not allowed to claim Consumer Guarantees?
You won’t be able to claim a consumer guarantee in the following circumstances-
If you have changed your mind after the purchase or
If you have found the product or service cheaper somewhere else or
If you have decided you did not like the purchase or had no use for it,
If you have misused a product in any way that caused the problem,
If you knew of or were informed of the faults before you bought the product,
If you have requested a specific service against the advice of the business or were unclear about what you wanted.
You will not be able to claim the rights to a repair, replacement, refund, cancellation or compensation in the following cases as well-
where the product is worth more than $100,000 and purely for business use, such as machinery or farming equipment, or
you plan to on-sell or change so that you can re-supply as a business, or
you have bought it as a one-off from a private seller, for example, at a garage sale or fete (but you will have rights to full title, undisturbed possession and no unknown debts or extra charges)
you have bought at auction where the auctioneer acted as an agent for the owner (but you will have rights to full title, undisturbed possession and no unknown debts or extra charges)
where the contract is to store or transport goods as part of business activities.
If you need more information about your rights as a consumer or duties as a supplier or manufacturer, or you need legal assistance about your consumer rights or obligation, we are here to help. Please visit us at www.lawcircuit.com.au or call us at 0418631798 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will connect you with the best legal services without any hassle.