What are the guarantees?
Consumers have the following guarantees in respect of goods:
- goods are of acceptable quality—that is, they are safe, durable and free from defects, are acceptable in appearance and finish and do what they are ordinarily expected to do (ACL section 54)
- goods are fit for any purpose specified by the consumer or supplier (ACL section 55)
- goods match any description given to them, either verbally or on packaging or labelling (ACL section 56)
- goods match any sample or demonstration model (ACL section 57)
- repair facilities and spare parts will be reasonably available for a reasonable time (ACL section 58)
- any express warranty given will be complied with (ACL section 59)
- they will have clear title to the goods (ACL section 51)
- they will have undisturbed possession of the goods (ACL section 52)
- there will be no undisclosed securities or charges attached to the goods (ACL section 53).
Consumer guarantees apply whether the goods are new, ‘seconds’ or second-hand. The consumer guarantees will also generally apply to goods purchased online.
Generally, the consumer guarantees do not apply to goods sold by auction. The only consumer guarantees that do apply to goods sold by auction (including online auctions) are that the consumer will have clear title to the goods, undisturbed possession of the goods and there will be no undisclosed securities or charges attached to the goods. The other consumer guarantees listed above do not apply.
Consumers have guarantees that services provided to them will be:
- provided with due care and skill
- fit for any purpose specified by the consumer
- provided within a reasonable time, where no time has been agreed.
A consumer is a person who buys any of the following:
- any type of products or services costing up to $40 000, for example, a haircut or wedding photography
- a vehicle or trailer used mainly to transport goods on public roads. The cost of the vehicle or trailer is irrelevant
- products or services costing more than $40 000 that are normally used for personal, domestic or household purposes.
Consumer guarantees cannot be excluded by contract.
Where goods are not normally acquired for personal, domestic or household purposes, liability for failure to comply with a consumer guarantee can be limited by contract to any of:
- the replacement of the products or the supply of equivalent products
- the repair of the products
- the payment of the cost of replacing the products or acquiring equivalent products
- the payment of the cost of having the products repaired.
Where services are not normally acquired for personal, domestic or household purposes, liability for failure to comply with a consumer guarantee can be limited by contract to supplying the services again or paying the costs of having the services supplied again.