All goods for sale in Australia come with a statutory or ‘implied’ warranty. This means that goods should function properly for a reasonable period, bearing in mind their price and the way they were described. These statutory, or implied, warranty rights are part of the Trade Practices Act and apply Australia-wide, regardless of the store’s return policy.
- This is different to any additional warranties retailers and manufacturers may provide.
- If goods develop a major fault within this period, and you weren’t responsible for the fault, you are entitled to compensation.
- Whether you can claim a full or partial refund or repair depends on the circumstances – like how much you paid, how the product was described, how long you have it and how much you’ve used it.
Your right to compensation is not limited to the period of the manufacturer’s written (express or extended) warranty. So if, for example, a refrigerator develops a major fault after just 18 months, it is still reasonable to expect a refund or replacement — even if the manufacturer’s warranty had expired after one year.
We recommend you think carefully and weigh up the cost of extended warranty — you already have rights under the implied warranty which often last longer than the written warranty.
Manufacturer / Express warranties
If your problem product is still under express warranty, it should be returned to either the place of purchase or the manufacturer for repairs, which should be done at no charge to you.
If the product is out of express warranty, you still have the right to have it repaired correctly and may even be able to argue it should be free of charge.
The service people should be licensed, and you should receive a written, itemised quote. The final cost of the repairs should be within 20% of the price you were quoted. Repairs must be guaranteed, and the goods must have suffered no additional damage.
If you're still unhappy with the final results of any repairs, whether done under warranty or not, you can follow our guide Letters that get results or talk to to the department of Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading in your state or territory.
An additional warranty retailers try to sell you which may or may not extend the manufacturer’s warranty. Some extended warranties may only replace the product or refund customers based on annual depreciation of the product. This means the product you get as a replacement may be inferior to the one you originally bought or you may be refunded less money than what you paid.
There's more information in our Extended warranties report.