When products fail to meet a guarantee, a consumer has a right to a ‘remedy’ - an attempt to put the situation right.
Common remedies include repair, replacement, or to take action against the supplier for refund, compensation or damages.
The supplier has to provide the remedy when products do not meet the following consumer guarantees:
- acceptable quality
- fit for any disclosed purpose
- clear title
- undisturbed possession
- undisclosed securities
- failure to match sample or demonstration model.
The supplier is the person or business who sold, leased or hired the products – for example, a retailer or a trader.
The manufacturer has to provide the remedy when repairs or spare parts are not available for a reasonable time after purchase.
The manufacturer is the person or business who:
- imported (if the maker does not have an office in Australia)
The consumer can claim from the manufacturer or the supplier if a product:
- is not of acceptable quality
- did not match description
- did not meet any extra promises made about them (express warranties).
If claiming from a manufacturer, the consumer can claim compensation for the decrease in the value of the product and, in some cases, consequential losses (compensation for their costs in time and money because something went wrong).
If claiming from a store, whether the consumer is entitled to a repair, replacement, refund or other ‘remedy’ depends on whether the problem is a major or minor failure. For explanations of the difference between major and minor problems view:
When products fail to meet a consumer guarantee, the consumer may also bring an action for consequential losses. For more information, view Damages and compensation.
Generally, it is the store or seller’s responsibility to return products to the manufacturer for repair. This may include products that are under warranty.
If the product was not delivered or was damaged in transit, view Products missing or damaged in transit.
If you are having a dispute with the store or seller about a problem with a product, view Resolve your problem or complaint.