Your money, your rights
Every time you pay for something - whether it's a product (like clothes) or a service (such as accommodation) - you are entering into a legal contract.
You have legal entitlements – consumer rights - when it comes to those products and services.
What are my rights?
You have specific rights under national ‘consumer guarantees’ contained in the Australian Consumer Law, which came into effect on 1 January, 2011.
These protections automatically apply to the purchase of goods and services, including the right to repairs, replacements and refunds.
They automatically apply to goods or services normally for personal, domestic or household use. Goods or services that are not for this use are also covered, as long as they cost up to $40,000.
Consumer guarantees include that:
- Goods are of acceptable quality
- Goods will match the description or sample
- Goods will be fit for purpose
- The supplier has the right to sell the goods
- The manufacturer will take reasonable steps to provide spare parts and repair facilities
Businesses guarantee to provide services:
- With due care and skill
- Which are fit for any specified purpose
- Within a reasonable time, when no time is set
If goods or services do not meet these guarantees, you may be entitled to a refund, replacement or repair, amongst other remedies. Visit Consumer Affairs Victoria (new window) for more on your shopping rights.
Things to watch out for
Some shops may display "No refund" signs - but these are against the law. Traders are not allowed to tell you that you cannot get a refund if you have a right to one under the Australian Consumer Law.
You have consumer guarantees regardless of whether you have purchased an extended or express warranty. Be careful when purchasing warranties that you are not paying extra money for guarantees already covered under Australian Consumer Law.
Consumer guarantees do not apply if you have simply changed your mind, although some businesses may provide a refund or credit note. If the store has a policy to provide refunds or credit notes for change of mind, they are obliged to provide one upon request.
Find out more about warranties and guarantees at Consumer Affairs Victoria (new window).