One of the amendments brought in by the Competition and Consumer
Act 2010 (Cth) is that from 1 July 2011, all repairers and others
who accept consumer goods for repair must provide Repair Notices to
consumers prior to accepting the goods for repair where the goods
are capable of storing user-generated data; or
are to be replaced by refurbished goods or will contain
refurbished components once repaired.
What is User-Generated Data?
User Generated Data is information that arises from data input
into the device by the consumer and retained on the device.
Examples include any data stored on goods such as computer hard
drives, telephone numbers on mobile phones, songs stored on an
iPods; games stored on a console; pictures stored on a camera and
files stored on a USB.
What are Refurbished Goods?
Refurbished goods are defined by the ACCC as goods that are
"likely to be considered as a used good or part that has been
reconditioned or restored to an acceptable working order".
If the consumer goods fall within either one or both of these
requirements, the repairer and any party accepting the goods for
repair must issue a written repair notice to consumers before
accepting the goods for repair. This also applies to those parties
who accept the goods for repair, even if it does not undertake the
repairs itself and another person does those repairs for it or on
These obligations apply even if the goods were purchased prior
to 1 July 2011 and whether or not the goods were purchased online
or as second-hand goods.
A notice relating to the repair of good that are capable of
retaining data-generated data must state that the repair of goods
may result in the loss of data.
Where refurbished goods may be used to repair the consumer
goods, the repair notice must use the following specific wording
required by the regulations:
"Goods presented for repair may be replaced by refurbished
goods of the same type rather than being repaired. Refurbished
parts may be used to repair the goods".
In cases where goods or parts might fall into both categories,
both notices must be issued to the consumer.
How is the notice to be given?
The ACCC guidelines state that the repair notice must be:
given in hard copy to the customer where the customer provides
the goods for repair in person;
sent by email
sent by mail; or
sent by facsimile.
The ACCC guidelines state that where notice is provided by mail
the repairer should wait a "reasonable period of time"
before commencing the repair of the goods to ensure that the
consumer has received the notice.
What should businesses do?
If you do not have processes in place to issue Repair Notices
when required in accordance with the regulations, you must as a
matter of urgency implement processes to comply with these new
provisions, which have been operating since July 2011.
Failure to comply with these obligations may result in penalties
of up to $50,000 for corporations or $10,000 for individuals.
If you have questions about the new rules or if you need
assistance in developing processes for your business to ensure that
appropriate notices are issued to consumers, the team at Coleman
Greig can assist you.
We can also provide you with detailed advice on how these
amendments affect your business and deliver training sessions for
your relevant staff.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The Sportscraft refunds and returns policy limitations went beyond consumer's rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).