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Australian Consumer Law – Extended Warranty Contract Changes

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) came into effect in January 2011. As a consequence we also saw the introduction of the Australian Consumer Laws (ACL) which sets out the new statutory consumer guarantees that provide greater protection to consumers and impose a common set of obligations on business throughout Australia.

The ACL changes the nature and scope of extended warranties in that it states that consumers cannot be required to pay for any rights that they would otherwise be entitled to under the ACL or applicable law. An extended warranty needs to provide the consumer with cover that is over and above that is provided under the ACL.

Additionally, the final provisions of the ACL came into effect from 1st January 2012. From that date all warranty documents issued to consumers must comply with the regulations of the ACL. In essence, Regulation 90 requires that warranties against defects contain a statement to the effect that the consumer’s rights and remedies under the ACL are not in any way reduced, varied or restricted in anyway.

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