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With the launch of the ‘Australia Recall App’ on iPhone’s and Android’s, as well as the dedicated website www.recalls.gov.au, consumers are well on their way to avoid taking faulty goods home and using them.

So what happens if you do purchase a good that is later recalled? As of 1 July 2011, if you have purchased a good that appears on the recall list, the business that repairs the recalled good, must provide to you prior to repairing the good, a written Repair Notice (“the Notice”).

The Notice is only provided when the goods recalled have the capability of storing user-generated data (such as computers, mobile phones, and portable media players), or are to be replaced by refurbished goods or will contain refurbished components once repaired.

The Notice, as outlined in Part 6 of the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010, must state the following:-

“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.”

The purpose of this law is to prevent the unforeseen loss of personal data, such as music, telephone numbers, and computer files, and/or to warn consumers that their goods may be replaced with refurbished goods of the same type.

These obligations apply even if goods were purchased prior to 1 July 2011 and whether or not the goods were initially purchased online or as second-hand goods.

Retailers and other suppliers should be mindful of this requirement if they are recalling goods and repairing them.

Details of the required wording of the notice, the penalties that apply for failure to issue a notice, and other information relating to your obligations can be found at the following web address: consumerlaw.gov.au

If you have further questions relating to Repair Notices or any other aspect of consumer law, please contact Attwood Marshall on 07 5536 9777 or email info@attwoodmarshall.com.au.

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Charles Lethbridge

Charles Lethbridge

  • Senior Associate
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Direct line: 07 5506 8240
  • Mobile: 0421 885 195