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You can ask a business for your preference of a free repair, replacement or refund, but you are not always entitled to one. For example, the consumer guarantees do not apply if you got what you asked for but simply changed your mind, found it cheaper somewhere else, decided you did not like the purchase or had no use for it.
If you have a minor problem with a product or service, the business can choose to give you a free repair instead of a replacement or refund. When you have a major problem with a product, you have the right to ask for your choice of a replacement or refund. For a major problem with a service, you can choose to receive compensation for the drop in value below the price paid, or a refund.
If a product or service you buy fails to meet a consumer guarantee, you have the right to ask for a repair, replacement or refund under the Australian Consumer Law. The remedy you're entitled to will depend on whether the issue is major or minor.
If the problem with a product or service is minor, you must accept a free repair if the business offers you one.
If the business fails to give you a free repair within a reasonable time or cannot fix your problem, you can:
Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses accepting goods for repair must provide consumers with repair notices when
The consumer must receive the repair notice in writing before the goods are accepted by the business for repair.
You can ask for a replacement or refund if the problem with the product is major.
Replaced products must be of an identical type to the product originally supplied. Refunds should be the same amount you have already paid, provided in the same form as your original payment.
The business may take into account how much time has passed since you bought the product considering the following factors:
For a major problem with services you can cancel the contract and obtain a refund or seek compensation for the drop in value of your services provided compared to the price paid.
A product or good has a major problem when:
A service has a major problem when:
You are entitled to return a product if you believe that there is a problem. You are generally responsible for returning the product if it can be posted or easily returned. You are entitled to recover reasonable postage or transportation costs from the business if the product is confirmed to have a problem, so keep your receipts.
When a product is too large, too heavy or too difficult to remove, the business is responsible for paying the shipping costs or collecting the product within a reasonable time of being notified of the problem. Examples include:
You do not have to return products in the original packaging in order to get a refund.
If the product is found not to have a problem, you may be required to pay the transport or inspection costs. An estimate of these costs should be provided to you before the product is collected, and the costs must not be inflated in an attempt to deter you from pursuing your claims.
The retailer who sold you the product or service cannot refuse to help you by sending you to the manufacturer or importer. You can approach the manufacturer or importer directly, however, you will only be entitled to recover costs from them, which include an amount for reduction in the product’s value and in some cases compensation for damages or loss. You cannot demand a repair, replacement or refund from the manufacturer
to get a refund under any circumstances, including for faulty items. In fact your consumer guarantee rights still apply. Retailers don’t have to give you a refund or exchange if you simply change your mind. Always check the store’s returns policy.
Your rights under the consumer guarantees do not have a specific expiry date and can apply even after any warranties you’ve got from a business have expired.