Tertiary education program

Three consumer guarantees relating to services

There are three consumer guarantees relating to the supply of services:

1. Providing services with due care and skill.

Any business providing services to a consumer guarantees that they will be provided with due care and skill. This means that the supplier must have the knowledge and skill required to provide those services in an acceptable way and take all reasonable care to do so properly and without causing loss or damage.

Case study: A garage that agrees to repair a car must properly diagnose what is wrong with the car and skillfully carry out the work needed to repair it.

See: Read v Nerey Nominees Pty Ltd [1979] VR 47

2. Providing services for a particular purpose or desired result.

If a consumer makes known to a supplier that they want services for a particular purpose, or to achieve a particular result, there is a guarantee that those services, and any product resulting from the services, will be of such a nature, and quality, state or condition, that they might reasonably be expected to achieve that result. This is in addition to the guarantee that the services are provided with due care and skill.

However, the guarantee does not apply:

  • if the supplier's skill and judgement was not relied upon by the consumer, or it was unreasonable for the consumer to do so, or
  • to professional services provided by a qualified engineer or architect (ACL section 61(4)).

Case study: Rides in an amusement park must be reasonably safe when operated by the patrons the proprietor can anticipate will use them.

See: Gharibian v Propix Pty Ltd [2007] NSWCA 151

3. Providing services within a reasonable time.

If a timeframe for a business to supply services is not provided in the contract of supply of services, or is not to be determined in a manner agreed to by the consumer and supplier, there is a guarantee that they will be supplied within a reasonable time. What is reasonable will depend on the nature of the service to be provided.