KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Consumer guarantees come with purchases

DID you know that many of your purchases automatically come with a consumer guarantee?

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 provides that goods sold to you as a consumer must be of acceptable quality, fit for its disclosed purpose and match the descriptions or samples previously provided to you (if any).

So if you purchase products they must be free from defects, safe, durable and fit for the purpose for which those goods are commonly supplied.

Depending on whether the defect or issue with the goods you have purchased is considered a 'major' issue, your rights may include either a refund, repair or replacement from the entity that supplied you the goods.

If the issue is not 'major' then it is for the supplier to choose whether to repair, replace or refund.

The law looks at the following things when determining if the issue with the goods are 'major':

You would not have purchased the goods if you were aware of the nature and extent of the issues; or

Difference between the original and actual description of the goods; or

If the goods are unfit for their intended purpose; or

The goods are unsafe.

For example, if you were to purchase a fridge and after six months it no longer kept your food cold, you would be entitled to exercise your rights under the legislation for either a refund, repair or replacement.

This is because the fridge is defective and not fit for its intended purpose - or for the purpose for which it is commonly used (to keep food cold).

So, even if you don't have a warranty or extended warranty when you purchase goods, you may still be covered by the consumer guarantee provided by law.

Rachel Clarke is a local lawyer in Bundaberg. She specialises in commercial law, business transactions, leasing as well as estate and succession planning.



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