The Small Business Specialists
Phone: 13 12 49
Consumers have a right to a remedy if the goods they purchase are faulty. The type of remedy available to them depends on whether the fault is minor or major.
A problem with a good would be considered major if the good is:
Additionally, if a problem occurs with a good that is so bad that a reasonable consumer would not have bought the good if they knew about it, then the problem is considered major.
If the problem with a good doesn't meet the criteria of a 'major problem' and can be fixed within a reasonable time, then it is considered minor. Problems with the title of goods are also considered minor, as the supplier may be able to fix the problem (e.g. paying off the debt which affects the goods' title).
For more information on what constitutes a minor or major failure with goods see the Department of Commerce's website.
The remedies available to a consumer where there is a major problem with a good include:
In some circumstances, such as where the consumer has damaged or destroyed the goods, a consumer cannot reject a faulty good.
Unlike major problems, if there is a minor problem with a good, the consumer cannot choose their remedy. The supplier must be given the opportunity to fix the problem. Other remedies that the supplier may choose to offer the consumer includes:
When a business repairs a faulty consumer good, the business must meet the following obligations:
Repairers who fail to comply with their obligations may face civil or criminal penalties (monetary), infringement notices or legal action.
A consumer can take their faulty good to a third party for repair when:
In such circumstances, the business that originally sold the good has an obligation to pay the reasonable costs of repairs carried out by a third party.