Under the Australian Consumer Law, certain consumer guarantees apply automatically, including that a product must be reasonably fit for any purpose specified by the customer and agreed by the seller.
If a product is not fit for a specified purpose, the consumer is entitled to a remedy. The type of remedy depends on whether the problem is major or minor.
The product does not do a specific job or achieve a specific purpose agreed at the time of buying, and the problem cannot be fixed easily and within a reasonable time.
Remedies for major problems
Consumers can choose whether to:
- reject the product and choose a refund or replacement, or
- keep it and the seller will compensate them for any drop in value.
It is not considered a major failure if the problem can be fixed easily and within a reasonable time.
Remedies for minor problems
The store chooses whether to:
- provide a replacement that is identical, or of similar value
- repair the product within a reasonable time, or
- give a refund.
A consumer can generally ask for a refund or replacement when a product does not do a specific job or achieve a specific purpose, if:
- they relied on the store’s knowledge, expertise or advice when choosing the product. This advice may have been provided in person, over the phone, or via an email or message.
- before buying, either
- they expressly or implicitly informed the store or salesperson what they wanted the product to be able to do, either in person, over the phone, or via an email or message
- the store or salesperson said the product could achieve that purpose.
When this guarantee does not apply
This guarantee does not apply to products bought at auction.
This guarantee does not apply if the store can show that:
- the consumer did not rely on the store’s skill or judgment when buying the product
- under the circumstances, it was unreasonable for the consumer to have relied on the store’s skill or judgment (or lack of it).
If you are having a dispute with the store or seller about a problem with a product, view Resolve your problem or complaint.