Supporting examples for repairs and spare parts:
- A consumer purchases a laptop computer and the hard drive becomes faulty. If the consumer:
- returns the laptop to the business they purchased it from and they accept it for repair (on behalf of the repairer) – then the business must provide the consumer with a repair notice on behalf of the repairer
- returns the laptop to the business they purchased it from who does not accept it on behalf of the repairer but agrees to send it to the repairer for repair – then the repairer must provide the consumer with a repair notice not the business
- returns the laptop directly to the manufacturer who accepts it for repair as the repairer – then the manufacturer must provide the consumer with a repair notice
- delivers the laptop to a general repair business that repairs the goods - this business must provide the consumer with a repair notice.
- A consumer has a car accident and contacts the insurer to make a claim and organise for the repair of their vehicle. Music files have been saved into the memory of the vehicle’s electronic system, which would require a repair notice to be provided. If the insurer accepts the vehicle for repair on behalf of a specific repairer – the insurer must provide a repair notice to the consumer. If however the insurer is accepting the vehicle to only assess the claim, then they will not be required to provide a repair notice.
Whether the insurer will be required to provide a repair notice will ultimately depend on the individual circumstances of each situation.
- A computer is a good that is of a kind likely to be used for personal use. It would also generally fall under the $40 000 threshold. Therefore the repair notice requirements will apply, irrespective of the fact that a particular computer brought in for repair is being used for business purposes.
However, if the business acquired the computer for re-supply (eg. retail sale) it will not have been ‘acquired as a consumer’ and the repair notice requirements will not apply.
- A consumer takes their mobile phone for repairs. At the repairer, there is a sign at the counter notifying consumers about the risk of data being lost during repair. The repairer does not warn the consumer by giving them a written notice or advising them verbally about the risk of data being lost, but rather relies on the consumer to read the warning sign at the counter about this risk. As it is up to the consumer to notice this sign, the business cannot be sure that they will notice it. In these circumstances, the consumer may not be provided with the opportunity to back up their data before repairs are carried out.
This example illustrates why a repairer is required to give the consumer a notice (and the ACCC recommends that the consumer is also verbally advised and their consent sought) so consumers are actually made aware of the risk and are given the opportunity to back up their data before repairs commence.
- A consumer takes their washing machine for repairs. The repairer sometimes uses refurbished parts in their repairs or replaces defective goods with a refurbished version. Accordingly, the consumer should be notified of this before the goods are accepted for repair in order to make an informed decision on whether, in light of this information, they would like to proceed with the repairs.
If the repairer does not provide the consumer with a notice about the use of refurbished goods/parts before they accept the goods for repair, the consumer will not be given the opportunity to make an informed decision about the repairs.
- A consumer takes their digital photographic camera and digital video camera for repairs at the same time. A single repair notice should be provided to the consumer before the repairer accepts the goods for repair. Multiple repair notices would not be required in this circumstance as the consumer took both cameras in at the same time (in the one transaction).
Where the consumer takes their goods to the repairer on separate occasions – that is, there are two separate transactions – then the repairer should provide two separate repair notices: one for each transaction, before accepting the goods for repair.
- A consumer takes their media player to a repairer for repair and a week later takes their mobile phone for repair. As the media player and mobile phone were taken to the repairer on two separate occasions (in two separate transactions) two separate repair notices would need to be provided.
- A consumer takes their media player for repairs to a repairer who sometimes uses refurbished parts when repairing goods.
As a media player is likely to store user-generated data such as music, a repair notice will need to be given to the consumer that states words to the effect of:
The repair of your goods may result in the loss of any user-generated data. Please ensure that you have made a copy of any data saved on your goods.
In these circumstances, the repair notice must also include the following words (or an additional repair notice given to the consumer that says):
Goods presented for repair may be replaced by refurbished goods of the same type rather than being repaired. Refurbished parts may be used to repair the goods.