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CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM PRODUCT DEFECTS: WRITTEN WARRANTIES AND STATUTORY GUARANTEES

It is not uncommon for a consumer in Australia to purchase a product that comes with a written warranty.

A standard product warranty is a promise by the warranty provider (the retailer or manufacturer) that the product will be free from defects for a specified period of time.

In the event the product presents with a defect within the specified period of time, then the warranty provider promises to either repair the defect, replace the product or provide the consumer with compensation.

 

These written warranties are legally binding upon the warranty provider and can be enforced by the consumer if required.

In addition to a written warranty, and in the absence of a written warranty, the consumer may have protection under the Australian Consumer Law by way of statutory consumer guarantees. It is very important consumers are aware of these protections as they may apply in circumstances where a written warranty was not given, a written warranty has expired or a written warranty does not cover the issue.

In respect to the discussion at hand – products with defects – there is a consumer guarantee that a product is of acceptable quality. Whether a particular product is of acceptable quality depends upon what a “reasonable consumer” would regard as acceptable, having regard to:

  • The nature of the product;
  • The price of the product;
  • Any statements made about the product on any packaging;
  • Any representations made about the product by the supplier or manufacturer; and
  • Any other relevant circumstances.

If a product is not of acceptable quality, then the consumer has rights for repair, replacement or refund and, if applicable, compensation. Again, and importantly, these rights exist regardless of any written warranty.

For further information or advice on consumer protection laws, contact the experienced solicitors at Burt & Hanke Legal in Albury.