Your Consumer Rights when buying Furniture

Q. When do consumer guarantees apply?
A. Every time you buy goods and services.
If a product or service fails to meet a guarantee, you may be entitled to a replacement, repair, refund or other remedy.
Q. Am I covered by the consumer guarantee?
A. As a consumer, you automatically receive certain guarantees when you buy, hire or lease goods, or buy services.

You are covered by the law if the goods or services you purchase cost less than $40,000. If the goods or services cost more than $40,000 but are normally used for personal, domestic or household purposes the guarantees will still apply.

Q. Can I make a claim against manufacturers and importers?
A. You can seek damages directly from a manufacturer (or importer if the manufacturer does not have an office in Australia) where there is a failure of the consumer guarantees for:
• acceptable quality
• matching description
• repairs and spare parts
• express warranties.
Q. How many product consumer guarantees are there?
A. The consumer guarantees are intended to ensure that you get the product you paid for and that it does what it is meant to do. There are nine guarantees that apply to goods.
Q. How do I determine if my product is of acceptable quality?
A. Goods are of acceptable quality if they:
• are safe, durable and free from defects
• are acceptable in appearance and finish
• do everything that they are commonly used for.
Q. How do I ensure that my product matches the description
A. Any description of a product—whether made verbally or in writing—must be accurate.
Q. How do I determine is the product is fit for my particular purpose?
A. You must make it known to the retailer before you buy.

If you explain to the retailer that you want the product for a particular purpose, and you buy it based on their claims or expertise, the retailer guarantees that it will meet your particular purpose.

Q. I chose from a sample or demonstration model, but the product does not match. Am I covered by a consumer guarantee?
A. If you have chosen goods based on a sample or demonstration model the goods must match in quality, state or condition.
Q. Is the express warranty that came with my product legal and binding?
A. If a retailer or manufacturer/importer makes extra promises – either verbally or in writing – about the quality, condition, performance or characteristics of goods, these promises must be met.

Common types include money-back guarantees and lifetime guarantees.
Express warrantees apply in addition to the consumer guarantees.

Q. Does the retailer have to guarantee repairs and spare parts?
A. The manufacturer or importer must provide spare parts and repair facilities for a reasonable time after purchase. This applies even if you did not purchase the goods directly from the manufacturer or importer. How long is ‘reasonable’ will depend on the type of product.
Q. Do I have ownership rights over the goods?
A. When you buy goods, the ownership rights are passed to you.

This guarantee also applies to goods you buy through private transactions, but it does not apply to goods that are leased or hired (because you don’t expect to own these outright).

Q. What can I expect to happen if my product does not meet the guarantees?
A. If a product or service you buy fails to meet a guarantee, you have a right to a remedy such as:
• refund
• repair
• replacement or exchange
• compensation
• cancellation of contract.

The remedy you are entitled to will depend on whether the failure to comply with the guarantee is major or minor.

Q. How many consumer guarantees are there for services?
A. The consumer guarantees for services are intended to ensure you get the service you paid for. There are three guarantees that apply to services.
Q. What level of due care and skill should I expect?
A. Service providers must carry out all services using an acceptable level of care and skill. They must also take reasonable steps to avoid loss or damage when providing the service.
Q. What does fit for a particular purpose mean?
A. Services and any resulting products must be reasonably fit for any particular purpose specified.

This guarantee may not apply if it is unreasonable to rely on the service provider’s skill or judgment, or if the provider tells you the service or resulting product will not meet your purpose.

Q. I have waited too long for services. What can I do?
A. Services must be supplied within a reasonable time. What is ‘reasonable’ will depend on the nature of the services and other relevant factors such as weather and availability of parts or supply of materials.

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