When things go wrong with products or services you bought before 1 January 2011, you may still have rights under the previous consumer protection law called the Trade Practices Act.
Currently, consumer rights are covered under the Australian Consumer Law consumer guarantees. The following implied warranties and conditions apply to products and services purchased prior to 1 January 2011.
- be of merchantable quality, which means free of obvious defects and meet basic levels of quality and performance for their price and description
- be fit for purpose, which means do everything usually expected and as you described to the salesperson
- match the description you were given or the sample you chose from
- have clear title, including products bought at auction. That means the salesperson must tell you of any restrictions on ownership before you buy the product
- have quiet possession, which means the salesperson must tell you of any debts, charges or restrictions on your ownership before you buy.
Services must be carried out with due care and skill. Any materials supplied in connection with the service must be fit for purpose.
Warranties for services may not apply if you:
- didn’t make clear beforehand what you wanted done
- stated that you wanted the service done in a way that wouldn’t usually be done or with materials that wouldn’t usually be used and then you didn’t like the result
- the agreement involved the transportation or storage of goods for your business or relates to a contract of insurance.
If goods or services purchased before 1 January 2011 do not meet one of the above statutory conditions or statutory warranties, you may be entitled to a remedy from the seller.
The appropriate remedy will depend on the particular circumstances and may include:
- repair or replacement of the goods
- exchange of the goods or re-supply of the services
- payment for these things to be done, or
- refund (in some circumstances).