Faulty products and limits imposed by warranties

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 19:11
ThreadID: 119363 Views:2179 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Australian consumer law requires a product be 'fit for service'. Regardless of the warranty limitations imposed eg 12 month warranty. A generator for example would be expected to provide service for more than 12 months without failing, and the same for solar panels. So if a product fails outside the warranty period but within 'reasonable expectation' time the supplier or manufacturer is still obliged to repair or replace as if it was still under warranty. Info from 'The Checkout' program on ABC.
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Reply By: garrycol - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 19:49

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 19:49
Yes - the Consumer Law is quite clear - the problem is enforcing that law as ultimately it is the customer that has to take legal action to enforce the law. State Consumer protection Consumer affairs organisation can go a long way in reminding sellers of their obligations etc and may very well intimidate sellers into complying but in many circumstances they are unable to force sellers to do the right thing so ultimately it is up to the buyer to take action in the legal system.

AnswerID: 556565

Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Thursday, Jul 02, 2015 at 10:59

Thursday, Jul 02, 2015 at 10:59
From bitter experience I tried to enforce my consumer rights over a house. I have "won" each stage of the process except at no point will the actual amount of money be determined but rather referred to a higher court for that to be determined. The last legal quote was $2.2m as the shortfall between a full award of damages and "court costs". I was directed to involve all sub contractors and suppliers in a case to the full bench of supreme court (I thought it was the high court was "full bench") to determine how much each person would contribute to my damages. The fact I have a contract with a builder to build my house seems irrelevant in the courts.
I give up and just travel around in a motor home and remind people not to hold their breath to be protected by consumer law. Totally up to the supplier if they wish to comply.

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Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2015 at 15:22

Thursday, Jul 02, 2015 at 15:22

There are some rubbery terms in use that are open to creative interpretations, Terms such as "Fit for Purpose" "reasonable expectation time" can be some what open to differing interpretations.

AnswerID: 556577

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Jul 02, 2015 at 15:40

Thursday, Jul 02, 2015 at 15:40
According to a Dept of Fair Trading senior inspector I was recently speaking with, they actually have more of a problem with unrealistic expectations from consumers than there is with problematic sellers.

Anyone here that is involved with retailing will know exactly what I am referring to.

I was only reading yesterday on another forum of a guy who has bought a second hand 9 year old Hilux and thinks it has a blemish in the paint on the roof.
He has taken it to a dealer to see if he can get it resprayed under warranty
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