For starters, Australian Consumer Law or ACL is a law that applies to all of Australia. And you probably know that already.
So, let us start without wasting any time.
Get the answers to some of the questions of the essential business law assignment that is related to Australian Consumer Law.
Who is a consumer?
The ACL has a really wide viewpoint of who a consumer is. That is true to some extent. The definition of consumer is quite complex. See, any producer can also become a consumer and any consumer can become a producer.
Do you see where I am going with this? No?
As per the ACL, a consumer is a person who acquires any goods and services that are of the value lower than $40,000.
What if I buy a customised home theatre system for $50,000?
Yes, yes. The ACL also says that is the goods and services bought are for personal, domestic or household use, then a person purchasing for more $40,000 will also be a consumer.
You will also be called a consumer if you are buying a vehicle for the transport of goods on public roads.
The case of Dalia’s apples and Phil’s supermarket.
A person would think that poor Dalia has got nothing to do with the fire that burnt down the crops. It is not her fault. Phil’s supermarket has to bear the loss for the loss of the crops. Give Dalia what you owe her.
Here is what I would answer.
The verdicts of past cases like this had ruled that in such a situation, the contract would be void. Because the apples have been destroyed, the clause on which contract was drawn upon has been destroyed. Therefore, in this situation, neither of the parties can sue the other one for a breach of contract.
The liability in this situation is the apples that were promised. Since they have been destroyed and are non-available, the supermarket suffered a loss. Therefore, Dalia has to bear some of that loss.
You would think now that Dalia delivered the apples that were promised. She delivered what was asked, she received payment and the supermarket collected it’s deliverable. Now Dalia is not responsible for what happens to the apples. Do not hold her payment for something she was responsible for. Poor Dalia, boo-hoo.
Here is what I would have answered.
Well, to some extent, the common response is right. Since the transport of the apples from Dalia’s farm has already taken place to Phil’s storage, Dalia is not to be held responsible. The obligation that Dalia had towards Phil bound in the contract was fulfilled the moment Phil took control and possession of the goods. There is no involvement of Dalia in the transport of the goods from the shed to the supermarket. Neither in the management of the shed. So, Phil’s supermarket still owes payment to Dalia.
What happens to a contract if the borrower goes into liquidation?
In the question above, Cate Pty Ltd agreed to pay $45,000 in instalments of $2,000 per month. That means the duration of payment would have been made in a time of 1 year and 9 months. Since the company went into liquidation after a year, they still owe a payment of the 9 months to Ben.
You would think that of course, Ben should recover. Who cares if the company went into liquidation? They owe money to Ben and they should pay for it.
My expert view on this.
The companies are separate entities than individuals. The law recognises this. That means that the company can hire agents to enact agents. In the given case, the company has a debt to Ben who is an unsecured creditor for Cate Pty Ltd. Hence, Ben has a right to be paid for what the company owes him.
The curious case of consumer again.
In the first case, the buyer will not be considered as a consumer. Why? Because she is going to use the film for a commercial purpose. As per s.3(2), the buyer is a photographer and is going to use photographic film to create photographs.
Buyer Ltd is not a consumer here. See, s. (3) says that those who are buying products costing less than $40,000 are consumers. A light aircraft is definitely not less than $40,000. For products above $40,000, a consumer is a person who is using the product for personal or household work. A light aircraft is not something that is a common personal or household item. If you argue that s.3(1) apply here, take note that neither of the three conditions of categorising a consumer is being fulfilled.
The third one is a tough one. Buyer cannot be said to be a consumer for the nails. Listen, listen. This is because nobody buys nails for personal use, right? Buyer will fix or produce furniture or something like that with the nails. But hammer, yes, a hammer can be considered to be a product for which Buyer is a consumer.
The Guarantees Provided by ACL
There are a number of guarantees that the Australian Consumer Law gives to the consumers in the supply of goods. They are –
- Guarantee as to the title of good (Section 51)
- Guarantee with regards to undisturbed possession (Section 52)
- Guarantee in relation to undisclosed securities (Section 53)
- Guarantee that the goods supplied are of acceptable quality (Section 54)
- Guarantee that the good sold would be suitable for the disclosed purpose (Section 55)
- Guarantee that the good would comply with description (Section 56)
- Guarantee that the spare parts and repairs are reasonably available (Section 57)
- Guarantee that the seller would comply with express warranties (Section 58)
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