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Now, at some point we have all bought an item on impulse to only absolutely only regret it within hours!

Under the Australian Consumer Law (‘ACL’), purchasers unfortunately are not entitled to a refund for an item for a mere change of mind and/or if:

  • The store identified faults to the purchaser with the item before its purchase;
  • The item was inspected by the purchaser before its purchase and no obvious fault were identified prior to buying it;
  • The purchaser incorrectly used the item;
  • The purchaser damaged the goods after buying them.

A purchaser can only successfully obtain a refund for a change of mind, if a store’s refund policy goes over and beyond the minimum provisions of the ACL allowing for the same and the purchaser seeks a refund within the terms of that store’s refund policy.


The Australian Consumer Law 

The Australian Consumer Law outlines the minimum legal requirements which a store has to adhere to in relation to providing its purchasers with a refund, repair or replacement for an item which is defective.


Defective Goods – Major Problem

If an item presents with a ‘Major Problem’, a purchaser has a right to request for a replacement, repair or refund from a store, within a reasonable period of time.

An item is likely to be deemed as having a ‘Major Problem’ if it:

  • Has a problem that would have stopped a purchaser from buying it if they were aware of it;
  • Is significantly different from the sample or description;
  • It is substantially unfit for its common purpose and it cannot be fixed within a reasonable period of time;
  • Does not do what is required and it cannot be easily fixed within a reasonable period of time; or
  • Is unsafe.

When considering what is a reasonable period of time to request for a replacement, repair or refund a purchaser should consider the following:

  • The period of time that has passed since the purchase of the item;;
  • The type of the item and its likely use by a purchaser
  • The amount of use it could reasonably be expected to tolerate before the failure becomes noticeable.

Defective Goods – Minor Problem

If an item presents with a ‘Minor Problem’, the store then has a choice to fix the defect by providing the purchaser with a full refund or a replacement with an identical product or the purchaser can choose to repair the item within a reasonable period of time.


If you have purchased an item and require advice regarding your rights as a consumer, please contact our friendly team at Clarke Hemmerling Lawyers on (08) 8333 2130.

This blog post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is a general commentary on matters that may be of interest to you.  Formal legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on any matter arising from this communication.