The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) commenced on 1 January 2011 as a law of the Commonwealth and of each State and Territory. It applies in the same way to all Australian consumers and businesses. The ACL benefited Australians by reducing business compliance burdens and by replacing provisions set out in 20 existing national, State and Territory laws with a single national consumer law.

The ACL gives Australian consumers the same rights wherever they are in the country and simplifies consumer law. In New South Wales, these laws are enforced and administered by NSW Fair Trading, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The ACL includes a single set of definitions and interpretive provisions about consumer law concepts and general and specific protections which create and address standards of business conduct in the market. Recent studies have shown that only 10% of consumers understand their rights when it comes to a faulty product or a substandard service. Consumers need to be aware of their rights if they have bought a product that is faulty or doesn’t perform, or a service that isn’t right.

The Consumer Guarantees specified by the ACL are solid, and apply regardless of any manufacturers or extended warranty. If a product doesn’t work as promised, you have the rights to a repair, replacement or refund whether you bought it online, in a shop, full-price or on sale. It applies to new products, second-hand goods and sale items, as well as the supply of services.

If you have purchased a faulty or non-working product, or a service that doesn’t meet requirements, you should contact the business as soon as possible to discuss the problem. If the situation isn’t resolved, contact your local consumer protection agency, or the ACCC. Here at The Quinn Group, our experienced team of lawyers can assist you with personalised advice for your consumer law needs or assist you if your matter escalates. To find out more please call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) or submit an online enquiry to book an appointment.