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Australian Consumer Law

Introduction to Australian Consumer Law

The ACL presently sets out the purchaser guarantees provisions (the Guarantees). The Guarantees are a set of programmed rights gave to buyers and sometimes organizations, of any products orenterprises they buy in Australia. The Guarantees additionally cover imported products and enterprises.The purpose of this essay is to highlight the section 54 and section 55 of the Australian Consumer Law which states about the acceptable quality and safety of the product sold to the consumer1. The essay will further throw some light on the remedies that are stated in the legislation for the consumers if they suffer damages due to the product.

Brief Facts about Australian Consumer Law

In this case, Jessika who was working in a hotel on the position of bar attendant has been laid off from her job due to the outbreak of the COVID 19 as well as the government guidelines to shut down the pub and hotels. In order to cope up with her expenses she decides to start her bakery business in which she would provide breads to the individuals who are being isolated by the online delivery. For this, she goes to the shop for the purchase of the mixer. In the shop, the saleswoman satisfies Jessika that the mixer of the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer KSM7590 priced $3500 is best in the market and is also used by the professional chefs. After buying the mixer, on the 8th day, the mixer outburst with smoke and stopped to function.

Legislation Applied

Under the ACL, a business naturally furnishes clients with a center arrangement of buyer guarantees when they buy products or enterprises. These are legal rights that cannot be superseded and will exist in spite of any extra guarantee that might be given by a commerce2. It is significant that customers are not misdirected about their privileges when buying. The buyer guarantees are basically about quality and stability of items, based on security3. The Guarantees apply to all "purchasers". Under the ACL, a buyer is an individual, or business, that buys:

  • Goods or enterprises for under $40,000;
  • Goods or enterprises for more than $40,000, yet which are of a sort conventionally obtained for local, family or individual use or utilization; or
  • A business street vehicle or trailer that is bought essentially to move products on open streets4.

The Guarantees are levied on organizations that sell, rent or recruit out "products" or give "amenities". The Guarantees are additionally levied on makers and on merchants where there is no producer existence in Australia.

Section 54

Section 54 of the ACL states about the acceptable quality. It gives that products sold in exchange or trade must be of "acceptable quality". Acceptable quality is characterized to mean the products are5:

  • Appropriate for all the reasons the products are typically normally provided;
  • Adequate in look and texture;
  • Open from faults;
  • Secure; and
  • Long-lasting.

The above signs are estimated on what the rational customer completely accustomed with the state and situation of the merchandise would esteem as acceptable. The ACL portrays that the substances to consider are:

  • The nature of the merchandise;
  • The cost paid;
  • Statements on the bundling;
  • Any portrayals; and
  • Any other applicable conditions6.

Section 55

Section 55 of the ACL states about the fit for the specific purpose. It contributes that products delivered in exchange or trade must be rationally fit for any purposeexposed by the purchaser or signified to by the benefactor7. A "disclosed purpose" is a cause the consumer reveals with regards to why they are obtaining thecommodities. Therefore, in general sense, if the customer makes identified to the commercial that they are acquiring athing for a precisepurpose, or the consumerhinge on aninterpretation made by the commerce in regards to the determination of the product, the merchandises must be appropriate for that intention.

Case Law

ACCC v Valve Corporation (No 3) [2016] FCA 196

Valve is an organization situated in the State of Washington in the United States that possesses and functions Steam, a web based game circulation platform with 4,000 computer games and more than 65 million clients around the world, comprising 2 million endorsers for Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) initiated procedures against Valve, claiming that Valve had made deceitful or misdirecting portrayals concerning its reimbursement strategy and the use of the consumer guarantees under the ACL, in contradiction of section 18(1) and 29(1)(m) of the ACL9. In particular, the ACCC affirmed that Valve made deceptions with respect to the ACL's acceptable quality guarantee (in section 54) which, by section 64, could not be altered or barred. The Federal Court held that Valve Corporation had involved in misdirecting or dishonest manner and made dishonest or cheating portrayals to Australian purchasers about the function of the buyer guarantee system under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Remedies

It has been stated if the business flops to meet at least one of the Guarantees, the customer is qualified for a remedy. These remedies can incorporate such things as a repair, substitution or reimbursement and pay for the misfortune10. If the Guarantee has not been met and there is a "significant disappointment", the purchaser can prefer whether they need a reimbursement, renovation or substitution. The ACL characterizes a "significant disappointment" whereby:

  • The buyer would not have procured the products or amenities if they had known the degree of the disappointment already;
  • The merchandise or facilities are significantly unfit for reason and cannot be made fit for reason;
  • The products essentially do not meet their narrative or compare with the exhibit model or test; or
  • The products or amenities are hazardous11.

Conclusion on Australian Consumer Law

In this case, Jessika is entitled to the remedies as the assurance incorporates that the merchandise will be as protected as a sensible purchaser would view as satisfactory. Where a good neglects to meet the customer assurance of acceptable quality since it is risky, the law says this is a significant disappointment and the purchaser has the privilege to discard the product and prefer amid a compensation, substitution or restoration.

Bibliography for Australian Consumer Law

Legislation

Australian Consumer Law

Cases

ACCC v Valve Corporation (No 3) [2016] FCA 196

Journals

Becher, S.I. and Lai, J.C., 2018. In Consumer Protection We Trust: Re-Thinking the Legal Framework for Country of Origin Cases. San Diego L. Rev., 55, p.539.

Materne-Smith, H., 2019. Food for Thought: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v HJ Heinz Company Australia Limited. Adel. L. Rev., 40, p.891.

Pearson, G., 2017. Current Issues for Consumer Protection Law in Australia. In Consumer Law and Socioeconomic Development (pp. 199-208). Springer, Cham.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Australian Consumer Law Assignment Help

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