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The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) provides guarantees that most products and services bought in Australia (from 1 January 2011) come with automatic guarantees that the items or services will work and do what you asked for.

These guarantees apply regardless of any other warranties available. If an Australian business fails to deliver any of these guarantees, you have rights to:

  • Repair, replacement or refund;
  • Cancelling a service;
  • Compensation for damages and loss.

Warranties for financial services provided by the ASIC Act will continue to apply and will be administered separately by ASIC.

Meanwhile, eligible goods and services bought before 1 January 2011 are covered by the implied warranties and conditions in state and territory fair trading laws and the Trade Practices Act 1974.

A supplier is anyone - including traders, retailers and service providers - who, in trade or commerce, sells goods or services to a consumer.

A manufacturer is a person or business that makes or puts goods together or has their name on the goods. It includes the importer, if the maker does not have an office in Australia.

A supplier and a manufacturerofgoodsguarantees that goods are:

  • Of an acceptable quality;
  • Match the description given;
  • Match the sample or demonstration model.

A supplier guarantees that a consumer is buying goods:

  • That have clear title, unless otherwise stated;
  • That do not have undisclosed securities;
  • That are fit for any disclosed purpose;
  • With a right to undisturbed possession.

A supplier also guarantees that services are provided:

  • With due care and skill;
  • Which are fit for any specified purpose;
  • Within a reasonable time (when no time is set).

A manufacturerguarantees:

  • The availability of repairs and spare parts;
  • That any express warranties will be honoured.

Generally, consumer guarantees apply to goods and services bought on or after 1 January 2011 by a consumer from a supplier or manufacturer, in the course of trade. They apply to:

  • Any type of goods or services costing up to $40,000
  • Goods or services costing more than $40,000, which are normally used for personal, domestic or household purposes
  • A vehicle or trailer. The cost of the vehicle or trailer is irrelevant.

If a good or service fails to meet a guarantee, a consumer will have rights against the supplier and, in some cases, the manufacturer, who will have to provide a ‘remedy’ - an attempt to put right a fault, deficiency or a failure to meet an obligation.

When the problem with the good or service is minor, the supplier can choose between providing a repair or offering the consumer a replacement or a refund.

When there is a major failure, the consumer can reject the goods or services and either:

  • Choose a refund or a replacement, or
  • Ask for compensation for damages and loss.

Goods provided by international businesses may not be bound by the ACL, however, consumers may be afforded some protection by the contract of sale and foreign laws.

If you are in dispute about the goods or services supplied, we recommend that you contact our office and arrange an appointment to see one of our International Disputes & Litigation Solicitors in our Sydney office. By appointment, we can also arrange a time for you to see one of our lawyers at a branch office. For a complete listing please see our "Locations" tab.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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