Tertiary education program

Who is protected as a 'consumer'?

Consumer guarantees protect any individual or business that comes within the definition of 'consumer' in section 3 of the ACL. This is a definition that goes beyond the common sense understanding of the term, applying to anyone who acquires:

  • any type of goods or services that cost $40 000 or less
  • goods or services costing more than $40 000 if those goods or services are normally acquired for personal, domestic or household use or consumption, or
  • a vehicle or trailer principally used to transport goods on public roads.

A person will not be a consumer in these cases if they acquired the goods for re-supply, or to use or transform them in a manufacturing or production process, or in the course of repairing or treating other goods.

Examples of consumers Examples of non-consumers
The purchaser of a $10 000 second hand car for personal use The purchaser of a $10 000 second hand car acquired as part of a hobby of restoring and selling old cars
A printing company that leased a commercial printer for $35 000 for use in its business The purchaser of a new $2000 television set who acquired it to lease to a friend
A company that purchased a $300 000 car for an executive for their personal use A small farmer who purchased a second hand tractor to use on her farm for $50 000
A furniture removal company that purchased a new vehicle to transport goods on public roads for its business A commercial furniture maker who purchased timber for $20 000 to be used in its business
A farmer who purchased a stud ram for $40 000 A farmer who purchased a stud ram for $41 000
A small business when it purchases toilet paper for use by its employees and visitors A school child who purchased lemons for $30 to make drinks to sell at a school fete