Tech

The Lifestyler: My warranty has just run out! How Australian Consumer Law Protects you

You think your warranty has run out?

Has it really?

Legally in Australia manufacturers must warrant a product for 12 months for normal consumer use.

This means if the product fails in 12 months it will be repaired or replaced.  If they find you have damaged the item or used it commercially this may mean all bets are off.

However, what if a product which you expected to last 10 years suddenly stops working after 18 months, what then?

This is where you walk back to the retailer you bought it from and start quoting Australian Consumer Law or ACL.

The ACL provides consumers with a set of guarantees for the goods they buy, one of which is that they will be of ‘acceptable quality.’ Acceptable quality has a number of factors, including that the goods will be safe to use, and that they will be reasonably durable. The meaning of acceptable quality is considered by what a reasonable consumer fully acquainted with the goods would regard as acceptable.

More official details can be found here.

Let’s say you bought a $2000 fridge which came with a 1 year warranty.  If it failed after 3 years it is likely this product will be repaired or replaced under ACL.

This is where things become complicated as there are no set guidelines and although the ACCC has started to prosecute companies there is not enough precedents to say when something will or will not be covered.

Given a $2000 fridge would be a premium one, you would assume it would last for more than 3 years so it should be covered.

Ultimately the manufacturer has to wear the cost of the ACL but you must make your claim against the retailer, not the manufacturer i.e. The Good Guys not Samsung.

In your favour is that fact retailers/manufacturers are paranoid about the ACL so the likelihood is you will get your goods repaired or replaced.

Now counter to this, if you bought the cheapest fridge you could find and it failed after 5 years it is unlikely you would get any resolution.

So remember, go back to the retailer, not the manufacturer and demand a resolution under the ACL and you might just get a brand new product for your efforts.

Cheers to that!

The Lifestyler: My warranty has just run out! How Australian Consumer Law Protects you
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