Retailers must deal with warranty claims
Consumer Protection is concerned that some WA retailers are referring customers with warranty claims to the manufacturer when it is their responsibility under consumer law.
There have been a high number of calls in recent months to the Department from consumers complaining that some retailers are not taking responsibility when faulty goods are returned.
While manufacturers have obligations to ensure their goods are not faulty, the sales contract is between the retailer and their customer.
Retailers should not be directing customers with a warranty claim to the manufacturer direct, it is their clear responsibility to offer a remedy in the form of a replacement or refund if there is a major fault and repair if it is a minor fault.
Consumers should not allow sellers of the faulty item to fob them off to the manufacturer. Their contract is with the trader who is obliged to remedy the problem.
While the retail market is fairly tight at the moment, some retailers seem to be more interested in securing sales rather than solving problems. It is important that traders honour their legal obligations and further develop their customer relations at a time when repeat business is probably even more important.
Under the Australian Consumer Law all goods sold in Australia must be of acceptable quality, safe, durable, free from defects and fit for purpose.
These consumer guarantees apply without the consumer paying any extra money for ‘extended warranties’ which are being sold in some cases as a way for the retailer to manage faulty products.
The guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law apply to all products acquired by consumers and are in addition to any written guarantee that may be issued by the manufacturer. Consumers need to understand that their legal rights will often provide a remedy that is easier and more appropriate to access than some hoops some traders are asking consumers to jump through.
Consumers who are experiencing problems with their warranty claims, or need some advice, should contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or email.