Competition & Consumer Act 2010

The Competition & Consumer Act 2010 came into effect on 1 January 2011.

The Act:

– replaces the Trade Practices Act;
– codifies the previous State and Commonwealth consumer protection laws into a single set of National rules known as the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Applicability

  • The ACL protects consumers after 1 January 2011.
  • The former Trade Practices Act continues to apply to goods & services purchased prior to 1 January 2011.
  • For the first time consumers will have the same protection and expectation about business conduct, obligations and responsibilities wherever they are in Australia.

Who is a Consumer?

A person or entity that has purchased:-

  • goods or services costing less than $40,000 acquired for any purpose;
  • goods and services costing more than $40,000 that are acquired for personal, domestic or household use;
  • any vehicle or trailer purchased mainly to transport goods on public roads.

The definition excludes any person or entity that purchases goods or services for the main purpose of a resupply or for converting them in trade or commerce.

Consumer Protection

The ACL contains a comprehensive outline of:-

  • consumer rights and protection; and
  • obligations of suppliers and manufacturers.

The protection is referred to as Consumer Guarantees and is similar to the implied warranties set out in the former Trade Protection Act 1974.

Impact of the Consumer Guarantees

Under the ACL:-

  • liability cannot be limited for a breach of one of the Consumer Guarantees.
  • Liability can only be limited where the goods/services are of a kind not ordinarily acquired for personal domestic or household use or consumption.

Consumer Rights under Consumer Guarantees

Consumers may seek a remedy arising from a breach of a Consumer Guarantee which remedies will generally include:-

  • repair or replacement;• a refund;
  • compensation for foreseeable loss.

How does the ACL impact on you?

All terms and conditions of supply of goods and services should be reviewed to ensure that the warranties are:-

  • in writing;
  • expressed in plain language;
  • clearly expressed with the warrantor’s name, address and phone number and contains the following statement:
    “ * Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the ACL.
    * You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and compensation for any reasonable loss or damage.
    * You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of an acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure.”

“PWD are qualified to provide advice regarding this Act”