I've been sold a shoddy product - what can I do about it?

I've been sold a shoddy product - what can I do about it? 


Luckily, a few things! Australia has strong laws that provide consumers with various remedies if they have purchased a faulty product.

Don’t have a Warranty or Guarantee for the product? Not a problem! Whenever you purchase a product in Australia, the Australian Consumer Law automatically provides you with a guarantee that the product you purchased is fit for its intended purpose.

If your product does not do what it is intended to do, does not last long as you would reasonably expect, or has a fault (or several), then you may be entitled to return it to the retailer and request they either repair or replace the product, or provide you with a refund. The extent of the faultiness of the product will usually determine whether the retailer must repair, replace, or refund:

  • If there is a minor issue with the product which can be easily fixed, the retailer may repair your product free of charge, which you are required to accept. You do not need to accept the repair, however, if the repair cannot be carried out within a reasonable time, or fixed at all. In this case, you may request an identical replacement or a refund.
  • If the product is very faulty then a retailer will generally be required to replace the product or provide you with a refund. You have the right to choose which option you prefer, however it may not always be possible for the retailer to replace the product, for example, if the product is no longer in production.

The retailer may claim they are not responsible for the “shoddy” product and may try to persuade you to seek repair, replacement or refund from the manufacturer, however they cannot force you to do this.

Don’t be tricked by refund periods, particularly if you bought an item on sale - if the retailer claims that they cannot replace or refund the faulty product because it was on sale, the retailer may be in breach of its consumer law obligations.

It is important to bear in mind that there are exceptions which may prevent you from being able to demand a repair, replacement or refund of the shoddy product you have purchased. There are also, however, alternative legal options you can pursue – contact one of our experts at Pathway Lawyers & Migration Agents for a detailed discussion of your options.