Business Law

An introduction to the laws relating to consumer guarantees in Australia

Published in: May 2017

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) has a number of implied guarantees in relation to business transactions with consumers. The guarantees relating to consumers can be found in Div 1 of Pt. 3-2 of the ACL and when taking a look at the specific laws, there are a number of aspects to consumer guarantee laws that businesses need to have an awareness of.

Who is a consumer?

Trying to define who is a consumer is surprisingly complex, however in broad terms, a consumer is any person who has acquired goods or services where the goods or services supplied are the kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use or consumption of where the contract price is not in excess of $40,000.

The guarantees

The types of guarantees covered under the ACL are mainly applicable to supplies that are made within trade or commerce. Some of the guarantees found in the ACL include:

·         guarantee as to title (s 51);

·         guarantee as to undisturbed possession (s 52);

·         guarantee that goods are free from undisclosed securities (s 53);

·         guarantee as to acceptable quality (s 54);

·         guarantee as to fitness of goods for any disclosed purposes (s 55);

·         guarantee that goods supplied by description will correspond with the description (s 56);

·         guarantee in relation to goods supplied by reference to a sample or demonstration model, including that the goods will correspond with the sample or demonstration model in quality, state or condition (s 57);

·         guarantee as to availability of repairs and spare parts (s 58);

·         guarantee that there will be compliance with any express warranties given or made by the manufacturer or supplier of goods (s 59);

·         guarantee that services will be rendered with due care and skill (s 60);

·         guarantees as to fitness of services for any disclosed purpose (s 61);

·         guarantee that services will be supplied within a reasonable time, unless the time for supply is fixed by contract or is to be determined in a manner agreed to by the supplier and the consumer (s 62).

If we look to s 64 of the ACL, the guarantees cannot be excluded or limited by contract

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