Bought or received a faulty Christmas gift? Don’t let it ruin the festive season; you have rights under the Australian Consumer Law whether the gift was bought online or in a traditional store.
Under the ACL, consumers are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund if the item is faulty or defective, is not fit for a purpose specified prior to purchase, or does not match the sample or description. It does not matter if the item was “on sale”, or whether the full price was paid.
If there is a minor problem with the item, then the business can choose to give you a free repair instead of a replacement or refund. If there is a major problem with the item, the purchaser has the right to their choice of a replacement or refund. The business who sold the item holds the primary duty and cannot fob the purchaser off by sending them to the manufacturer or importer.
You will need to provide proof of purchase, so hold on to your receipts in case they are needed. You could store your receipts as photos on your phone. It is preferable if you can return the item in its original packaging, but you do not lose your rights if this is not possible.
More information on your consumer rights is available at the ACCC website, including an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Shopper App that explains refund, return, warranty and lay-by rights.
Julian Porter is Principal Solicitor of Suncoast Community Legal Service.
This column contains legal information only. Legal advice should be sought in relation to individual circumstances.