The Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
Since 2011, businesses that provide goods (whether by selling or leasing them) or services to consumers in Australia must comply with certain consumer guarantees imposed by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). These consumer guarantees automatically form part of every contract between the buyer and seller and they come free of charge. If a seller of goods or services fails to meet any of its obligations under the ACL, consumers are entitled to a remedy from the seller.
CONSUMER GUARANTEES - GOODS
Businesses that sell goods must ensure that goods:
- are of acceptable quality; (this means safe, lasting, have no faults, look acceptable and do all the things someone would normally expect them to do);
- are fit for any purpose that you made known to the business before purchasing (either expressly or by implication) and for the purpose the business told you it would be fit for;
- match descriptions; (eg. online shopping)
- match any demonstration model or sample you asked for;
- come with full title and ownership;
- are free from any hidden securities or charges;
- come with undisturbed possession; (this means no one has a right to take the goods away or prevent you from using them)
- have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable time after purchase unless you were told otherwise;
- satisfy any express warranty; (eg, anything promised by the business about the goods)
Importantly, the seller who sold you the goods cannot refuse to help you by telling you to deal with the manufacturer instead.
This is because Manufacturers and importers owe you separate guarantees under the ACL that goods:
- are of acceptable quality;
- have been accurately described;
- satisfy any manufacturer’s express warranty; and
- have spare parts and repair facilities reasonably available for a reasonable period of time, unless the consumer is advised otherwise.
CONSUMER GUARANTEES – SERVICES
Similarly, businesses that supply services to consumers also have to guarantee that those services will be:
- provided with due care and skill;
- fit for any specified purpose (express or implied); and
- provided within a reasonable time (when no time is set).
What happens if these guarantees regarding goods or services aren’t met?
If a business fails to meet one or more of the above consumer guarantees, you are entitled to a remedy – either a repair, replacement or refund and in some circumstances, compensation for loss. For further information on how to obtain a remedy in your particular situation, please contact Jerry Feng at 07 5535 3066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This information is for general use only, it is by no means a substitute for legal advice.
OTHER CONSUMER PROTECTIONS
In addition to Consumer Guarantees in relation to goods and services, the Australian Consumer Law also offers protection against misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, unfair terms, false or misleading representation about goods or services, false or misleading representations about the sale of land, bait advertising, passing off, harassment, and coercion. If you have any questions in relation to your consumer rights, please contact Jerry Feng at 07 5535 3066 or email email@example.com.