The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has raised concerns regarding the significant increase in the number of consumer guarantee issues being reported. More than 29,000 people reported alleged consumer guarantee breaches to the ACCC in 2017, which is a 39 per cent increase in reports compared to the 21,000 made in 2016.
The two most common reasons for people to contact the ACCC were in relation to faulty products and businesses misleading consumers about their consumer rights. The ACCC has raised particular concern over the number of businesses leading customers to believe that faulty products must be taken back to the manufacturer, when in fact the retailer is required to provide a remedy for faulty products. The ACCC stated that half of the issues reported in 2017 related to problems in obtaining remedies for faulty automotive, whitegoods or electronic products. Retailers of consumer electronics in particular should be aware of their warranty and consumer guarantee obligations under the ACL and ensure that they do not pass responsibility for faulty products onto manufacturers in breach of their consumer guarantee obligations.
The ACCC media release can be found here.