Complaint form

As consumers try to return products.

More than 20,000 shoppers complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about consumer guarantees in 2016, with more than a quarter reporting problems returning electronics and whitegoods to retailers.

As the Christmas period ends and Boxing Day sales wind down, the ACCC is reminding shoppers they have automatic guarantee rights that a product will work for a reasonable period of time under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Complaint form

“We are concerned that businesses continue to misrepresent the rights of consumers when they try to return a faulty product,” ACCC acting chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“We want more people to know about the Australian Consumer Law, and use it as the three ‘magic words’ to let retailers know you know your rights. For example, if you buy a phone that comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, that express warranty is in addition to your rights under consumer law.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, you are guaranteed that the phone is safe, lasting, free of faults, is of acceptable quality and functions as a phone. If the phone, or any other consumer electronics or whitegoods, doesn’t meet these guarantees, you are entitled to a remedy,” he said.