The warranties against defects provisions came into effect on 1 January 2012 as part of the Australian Consumer Law.
Businesses that provide promises to customers about what they will do if something goes wrong with a good or service (known as warranties against defects) need to be aware of an important recent change to the law.
Now, when suppliers or manufacturers choose to provide a warranty against defects to consumers, the warranty document they provide must comply with the new provisions.
The warranties against defects provisions came into effect on 1 January 2012 as part of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
...when suppliers or manufacturers choose to provide a warranty against defects to consumers, the warranty document they provide must comply with the new provisions.
A warranty against defects is a commitment that a business will repair or replace defective goods, resupply or fix a problem with services, or provide compensation to the consumer if the goods or services are defective.
It must include clear and simple information on things such as the repairer’s and the consumer’s obligations, contact information, the warranty period, how the consumer can make a claim and who is responsible for expenses associated with a claim.
It must also include mandatory text to ensure the consumer is aware that the warranty against defects operates in addition to their rights under the ACL. Specific wording for the mandatory text is available on the ACCC website.
The ACCC and state and territory consumer affairs agencies regulate and monitor compliance with the new provisions. Financial penalties can apply for businesses that do not comply.
Due to the long lead times associated with some consumer products, and the nature of the packaging of those products, there may be some goods in the supply chain that did not meet the 1 January 2012 warranty requirement.
Accordingly, the regulators will consider extending the warranty requirement to September this year where suppliers can show:
there are serious practical difficulties in updating warranty documents (for example, the warranty is in a tamper-proof package), and
they have taken all reasonable steps to convey the mandatory text and information required by the ACL to consumers. This could include placing a compliant sticker
on the outside packaging or erecting clear, prominent point-of-sale signs that include the mandatory text at all cash registers.
This applies to stock manufactured and packaged before 1 November 2011. In these circumstances the ACL regulators are unlikely to take enforcement action.