Published: 9 July 2013

Summary: This video looks at a number of scenarios where a service provider may be required to provide a remedy to a consumer – test your knowledge about what the law requires your business to do.


FEMALE PRESENTER: Consumer guarantees apply no matter what services you provide – electrical, building, dry cleaning, motor vehicle servicing, photo developing.

Consumer guarantees do not give an automatic right to a remedy – consumers are not entitled to a remedy if they didn’t explain what they wanted you to do or simply changed their mind.

But if a consumer guarantee has not been complied with – services weren’t provided with care and skill or were not fit for a specified purpose – then the consumer is entitled to a remedy.

Failure to provide a remedy may lead to legal action being taken against your business, and if you misrepresent consumers’ rights this could have serious consequences for you and your employer.

Most of the time it will be easy to decide whether there is a failure to comply with a consumer guarantee.

FEMALE CUSTOMER: I asked for these photos to be developed in black and white but they’re colour.

MALE SHOP ASSISTANT: I must have used the wrong settings, I’ll do them again straight away.

FEMALE CUSTOMER: When I brought this jumper in to be dry-cleaned it was white – now it’s pink! I want my money back and compensation!

MALE SHOP ASSISTANT: I’m not sure what happened. I can offer you a refund but I don’t have the authority to offer compensation. Can I take your contact details and speak to my manager about this?

FEMALE CUSTOMER: I wanted you to install halogen lights, I thought it would be obvious that I wouldn’t want fluorescent lighting over the dining table.

ELECTRICIAN: The contract and quote clearly stated that the job was for fluorescent lighting, which I did discuss with your husband. Now I can install halogens but it will cost you extra.

FEMALE PRESENTER: Sometimes it’s not so easy to determine whether there has been a problem with a consumer guarantee or whether the problem is due to ordinary wear and tear.

MALE CUSTOMER: I had my car serviced here six months ago and it’s started making a strange noise again.

MECHANIC: I’m happy to take a look to see what's happening but after six months it’s most likely a new problem.