When you buy a product you expect it to last and do what it's supposed to do. Simple. If it breaks you don't want to argue with a retailer about a refund or a replacement. And when you pay for a service you should get what you pay for. No ifs and no buts.
So what are your consumer rights?
The Australian Consumer Law creates guarantees which automatically protect Australian consumers and give them the rights they expect. Businesses must provide these guarantees even if they also give or sell you other warranties.
The consumer guarantees apply to:
- new and second-hand products
- sales and seconds
- online sales (but sales by overseas companies might be difficult to follow up)
- gifts (with some proof of purchase)
- bundled products and services.
According to the consumer guarantees goods must:
How do I get the consumer guarantees?
Consumer guarantees automatically apply if you bought, hired or leased goods or services after 1 January 2011:
- for less than $40,000;
- for more than $40,000 but they are normally used for personal, domestic or household purposes.
Vehicles and trailers are also included, even if they cost more than $40,000, provided they are mainly used to transport goods.
But….you won’t get the consumer guarantees if you;
- bought goods or services before 1 January 2011 - these are covered by different laws
- bought goods for the purpose of resupplying them or making them into something else
- misused the goods
- simply changed your mind or you saw it cheaper somewhere else
- knew about the faults in the goods before you bought them
- bought from a private seller, like at a garage sale or a fete (but you still have rights to full ownership, undisturbed possession and no hidden charges)
- bought at a traditional auction where the auctioneer acts as agent for the seller (but you still have rights to full ownership, undisturbed possession and no hidden charges).
The consumer guarantees also don't apply to insurance and financial services or to transporting and storage of goods for business purposes.