Guarantees and warranties

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You automatically get consumer guarantees from the person or business when you buy, lease or hire their goods, or buy their services under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

This is different to a warranty, which is a voluntary promise offered by the person or business who sold the goods or service to you, or who made the goods.

You have consumer guarantees regardless of any warranty provided by the supplier or manufacturer.

Guarantees on products

The ACL guarantees all goods:

  • are of acceptable quality;
  • match the description, sample or demonstration model;
  • are fit for their disclosed purpose;
  • come with clear title, unless otherwise stated;
  • do not have undisclosed securities;
  • come with a right to undisturbed possession;
  • will have spare parts and repairs available for a reasonable amount of time after purchase unless otherwise stated; and
  • with express warranties, are honoured.

When goods fail to meet a guarantee, a consumer has a right to a ‘remedy’ – an attempt to put the situation right. Depending on whether it is a major or minor failure, a consumer may be entitled to a repair, replacement, refund or compensation.

For example:

  • James buys a plasma television for $3,000, which has a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. It stops working two years later. James may be entitled to a remedy on the basis that the television is not of acceptable quality. A reasonable consumer would expect more than two years’ use from a $3,000 television. The supplier must provide a remedy of the customer’s choice free of charge.

Guarantees on services

Consumers are guaranteed that services will be:

  • provided with due care and skill
  • fit for any disclosed purpose
  • completed within a reasonable time

Warranties – additional guarantees

The following types of warranties are in addition to the rights awarded to consumers under the ACL:

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