Goods and services that are sold in the Australian market are inevitably accompanied by obligations under the Australian Competition and Consumer Law. It is imperative that both sellers and consumers are aware of their obligations and rights under the Australian Competition and Consumer Law. Our lawyers, who have extensive experience in this area, advise consumers and business clients on Commercial Agreements, compliance with law, consumer disputes and ACCC approval.

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商业&公司法务

Consumer law - Return of goods

Q: I bought a pair of jeans, but I couldn't wear it because the zipper was broken only after wearing it twice. When I asked for return, the store clerk told me, "the jean was am on-sale item, and we do not accept returns." How can I deal with this matter? A: In Australia, the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”) guarantees consumers various rights. The scope of ACL is very wide, and it can be applied not only to products but also to services. Section 54 of the ACL states, so to speak, that goods are of acceptable quality—that is, they are safe, durable and free from defects, are acceptable in appearance and finish and do what they are ordinarily expected to do. In this sense, the seller has to refund, replace, or repair these jeans because clothes that broke after being worn twice would not be at least "reasonably durable". Section 54 of the ACL requires to determine the degree of assurance of "reasonable quality" for a product by taking into account various factors such as general use, price, labelling, etc. For example, a $5 T-shirt naturally has a guarantee of a lower degree of "reasonable quality" than that of a $ 50 T-shirt. In other words, the $5 T-shirt being discoloured after several times of washing will not fall under a consumer guarantee claim. If a home appliance such as a refrigerator breaks after one year of normal use, it will not be considered "reasonably durable." Products such as home appliances often come with a manufacturer's warranty for a fixed period (for example, one-year warranty). However, although this manufacturer's warranty expires, the consumer's right could continue if section 54 applies. In addition, ACL requires manufacturers to incorporate into a warranty a term that "this manufacturer's warranty does not limit the consumer's ACL rights." Furthermore, even if the purchased goods are goods on sale, used goods or goods purchased on the Internet, despite a difference in the degree of guarantee, section 54 of ACL still applies. Situations where the ACL consumer guarantee does not apply include a purchase of goods without receipts or proof of purchase, a purchase between private individuals without receipt (e.g. garage sales) or at auctions, unusual usage. Additionally, there may be cases where consumers want to return a product just because they changed their mind without any problem with quality. In such case, ACL does not provide the consumer guarantee. Accordingly, for the current case, if the store does not accept the return of jeans, it is recommended that you first tell the store manager that you would consult with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or Fair Trading. Nevertheless, if they still deny responding, we encourage you to contact these agencies for your matter.