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Thread: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

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    Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 15202D2A1E022E27272424410 link=1295714321/20#20 date=1296712489
    The retail margin on their $7k machine would have any reseller in trouble with a single warranty claim.
    Out if interest, is the cost of a warranty claim not passed back to the importer by the re-seller?

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    Re: GS3 has arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by 323E373A3A335F0 link=1295714321/21#21 date=1296726648
    Out if interest, is the cost of a warranty claim not passed back to the importer by the re-seller? *
    Importers cover the cost of parts, but not associated labour nor return shipping costs. Of 5 machines purchased, we received one which was substantially bent. Another sent to a client in rural SA was a complete write-off. Fortunately, I insisted that Allpress ship that one or we would have had to wear a replacement as well.

    Theyre a great machine, but I still think theyre fragile and overpriced.

    @Clint- Its interesting to note that the machine is finally shipping with a better looking drip tray. Mines pretty rough...

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    Re: GS3 has arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by 1025282F1B072B22222121440 link=1295714321/23#23 date=1296728445
    Quote Originally Posted by 323E373A3A335F0 link=1295714321/21#21 date=1296726648
    Out if interest, is the cost of a warranty claim not passed back to the importer by the re-seller? *
    Importers cover the cost of parts, but not associated labour nor return shipping costs.
    Interestingly that has changed with the new consumer laws that came into effect on the 1st of Jan.

    The ACCC now oversee a new consumer act that sees consumers enjoy much more protection and obligations on importers/manufacturers and suppliers increased.

    Businesses need to research and get up to speed on the new laws, have a look on the web where there is plenty of info.

    As an example an importer will now be liable for shipping costs associated with a warranty repair where those costs are "significant" (eg coffee machine.) Labour costs would also be recoverable from the importer.

    Also consumer gaurantee will mean consumers have a much longer warranty that the standard 12 month one on goods that are expensive and where the consumer has a reasonable expectation of a significantly longer life.

    I would expect that a $7K coffee machine would imply a consumer could expect the item to last at least 5 years and therefore any manufacturing faults would be repairable under the consumer gaurantee. /Offtopic!

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    Re: GS3 has arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by 45434E574F435B220 link=1295714321/25#25 date=1296736373
    As an example an importer will now be liable for shipping costs associated with a warranty repair where those costs are "significant" (eg coffee machine.) Labour costs would also be recoverable from the importer.

    Also consumer guarantee will mean consumers have a much longer warranty that the standard 12 month one on goods that are expensive and where the consumer has a reasonable expectation of a significantly longer life.
    One would expect that goodwill repairs will also be a thing of the past in this scenario. An example might be a defective pressurestat which shows signs of scale which may have contributed towards the problem. This might apply to pumps, solenoids etc as well. It would certainly apply to any wear component such as an O-ring. Warranty providers will have no option other than to look much more closely at how the item has been used.

    People in remote areas may well find it impossible to to have a machine shipped to them as the sales outlet may consider the sale to be too risky. Bring on the insurers ::)

    Retail prices and magins will need to be adjusted to cover warranty risk and ultimately, we all pay.

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    Re: GS3 has arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by 3234392038342C550 link=1295714321/25#25 date=1296736373
    Also consumer gaurantee will mean consumers have a much longer warranty that the standard 12 month one on goods that are expensive and where the consumer has a reasonable expectation of a significantly longer life.
    There is already a Statutory Warranty that does just this.
    Ill have to have a read; maybe the changes remove some subjectivity.

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    Re: GS3 has arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by 277860767D767A7373707078747B150 link=1295714321/26#26 date=1296769163
    Warranty providers will have no option other than to look much more closely at how the item has been used.
    Quite possibly, especially after the initial 12 months. They will have to be careful about declining to repair faulty items though, the penalties for breaches are quite tough.

    People in remote areas may well find it impossible to to have a machine shipped to them as the sales outlet may consider the sale to be too risky. Bring on the insurers *
    Shouldnt have that effect, the sales outlet can recover the costs from the supplier/manufacturer.

    What I suspect we will see is longer warranties provided to avoid these issues, I wouldnt be surprised to see 3 yr warranties as a standard on many more expensive home electronic items as an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0935283339382F3A32395D0 link=1295714321/27#27 date=1296775292
    There is already a Statutory Warranty that does just this.
    Ill have to have a read; maybe the changes remove some subjectivity. *
    Statutory Warranties under the State Fair Trading Laws no longer exist, they have been superseced by the new legislation under the federal ACCC.

    EDIT - I have started a thread about the Australian Consumer Law as its off topic here and restricted to those happening to be reading this thread, http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1296845379/0

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    Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    The new Australian Consumer Law to be administered by the ACCC, replaces all previous Consumer Protection Legislation, usually covered by State Fair Trading Acts. It came into effect on the 1st of January.

    The new system should provide national uniformity and some increased protection for consumers. It also has important ramifications for suppliers and retailers and they should make themselves familiar with the law and its penalties for breaches.

    More info in the press release, http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.../itemId/965484

    Details for business - http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.../itemId/956980

    and more detail for consumers & business,
    http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/conten...x?doc=home.htm

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    I applaud the intent to provide blanket rights and responsibilities for all Australians.

    I do however think it is going to be a very fuzzy process trying to sort out claims. Unless everyone is wearing a microphone and the sale process recorded, I imagine there will be a lot of, "he said, she said" disputes, which apparently are acceptable criteria for consideration.

    In regard to the idea of a reasonable life expectancy, the examples given seem to suggest that the basis for determination is primarily cost. So we can expect arguments like, a $5k coffee machine should have half the life expectancy of a $10k machine, but twice that of a $2.5k machine.

    Persinally, Id rather have a guarantee that is in black and white.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Agreed.

    A.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A4B4040475D2E0 link=1296845379/1#1 date=1296853155
    Persinally, Id rather have a guarantee that is in black and white.
    Ditto Dennis...........no grey areas its either covered or it isnt.

    Steve

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    This is a really interesting time for Australian retail.

    On one hand we have consumers demanding cheaper prices and yet on the other, they will also be insisting on long warranty on these items- so as to cover them when they break stuff or it fails due to abuse. Makes me think Id have to be entitled to a 15-20 year warranty on my car? *:-? Well be stating that our machines are good for 12 months ::)

    I suspect that importers are going to need to incorporate higher warranty provisions into their goods for sale and that youll see this in fewer discounts and/or escalation in the price of items with slim margins.

    Bottom line is that the funds have to come from somewhere. Im betting that the exodus to internationally sourced produce will intensify because as we know, most Aussies are prepared to do whatever it takes to save a few bucks- including passing up on service and warranty.

    Please save me from the stupids who legislate this rubbish.

    Chris

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B7A7171766C1F0 link=1296845379/1#1 date=1296853155
    I applaud the intent to provide blanket rights and responsibilities for all Australians.

    I do however think it is going to be a very fuzzy process trying to sort out claims. *Unless everyone is wearing a microphone and the sale process recorded, I imagine there will be a lot of, "he said, she said" disputes, which apparently are acceptable criteria for consideration.
    [hr]
    In regard to the idea of a reasonable life expectancy, the examples given seem to suggest that the basis for determination is primarily cost. *So we can expect arguments like, a $5k coffee machine should have half the life expectancy of a $10k machine, but twice that of a $2.5k machine.

    Persinally, Id rather have a guarantee that is in black and white.
    Life expectancy is not necessarily related to cost. A few years ago I bought a plasma tv. At the time, it had a retail of $4000. Similar tvs now would be cost to $1000, but would not be expected to last correspondingly less time.
    A company I used to work for routinely sold computers for $250,000+ and they could be expected to require repairs within a year or so.
    The complexity of the item, and consumers reasonable expectations play a huge role.
    No matter how much either party tries to put everything in black and white terms, there will always be room for argument - not just over shares of grey, but over what is fair and reasonable.

    If I bought a coffee machine that was marketed as a "professional series", I would have different expectations to one marketed as a domestic coffee machine, regardless of relative price points.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 497C7176425E727B7B78781D0 link=1296845379/10#10 date=1296855541
    Please save me from the stupids who legislate this rubbish.
    Hear hear. Ive seen this happen in the computer industry, and what happens is the decent companies try to follow the law, then cant provide the goods at a cheap enough price. "Wholesale" style operators start up, flogging boxes at 5% or less margin, and tell the customers where to go if they want warranty (ie tell them to go back to the distributor/manufacturer). What then happens, is those places get sued/fined by ACCC, but they have so much turnover by that stage, they just dont care.

    If it does happen to affect their bottom line, they fold, and reopen somewhere else.

    The bottom line is, there is always a customer who wants it cheaper, and there is always a business willing to sell it cheaper, even if it means breaking the law or going bankrupt.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E7B76714559757C7C7F7F1A0 link=1296845379/10#10 date=1296855541
    Makes me think Id have to be entitled to a 15-20 year warranty on my car?
    Ive had a couple of car that made it to that age without problems and then again I had one where the frame of the driver side seat broke and the manufacturer basically told me to piss off because it was outside the 12 month warranty.
    I was young and less informed on consumer laws in those days so I ended up giving up after a few attempts.
    But lets remember that sometimes the consumer does need protection from the occasional shonky manufacturer.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 565E50585A40405C5058330 link=1296845379/11#11 date=1296858868
    reasonable expectations play a huge role.
    No matter how much either party tries to put everything in black and white terms, there will always be room for argument
    "Reasonable expectations" and the lack of black and white terms are what will cause the arguments!

    "Example
    A consumer purchases a television which won’t turn on six months after purchase. The television is not of acceptable quality as a reasonable consumer would expect a television to last much longer than six months.
    If the television broke down after 10 years it is much more likely that the television is of acceptable quality and the consumer would not be entitled to a remedy under the consumer guarantee"

    I love the way they have avoided stating what a "reasonable consumer" might consider an appropriate life for the tv. The example given above is from the ACCC website and the expectation that a TV last 10 years is probably aligned to what my parents would have expected.

    Im off to buy a $100 TV from an appliance store and am going to keep my docket - for 10 years!


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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    The subjectively applicable nature of these laws mean that the squeakiest wheel will get the most grease. With black and white at lest I can maintain my dignity while getting the service I have chosen to pay for by buying locally. Once again it is the regulations that make it more compelling to shop online or OS which isnt fair on consumers or our retailers. Well done bureaucracy; nobody wins which looks fair on paper! >:(

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D282522160A262F2F2C2C490 link=1296845379/10#10 date=1296855541

    Makes me think Id have to be entitled to a 15-20 year warranty on my car? *
    You would probably have a hard time arguing that was reasonable, but good luck if you try. The 10 year warranty on mine seemed ok (mitsi triton).

    I took a while to drill through the links to anything with real content, but the explanatory memorandum has some good info.

    Consequential damages are now included, as are products bought from businesses listing on online auction sites and even second hand goods sold "as is".

    Suppliers also now have a clear right to claim back all warranty costs from manufacturers.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Some of the replies demonstrate the lack of understanding by business of the old laws, let alone the new ones.

    It has always been a grey area beyond the general 12 month warranty that most suppliers provided. Under the old State based Statutory Warranty, consumers were entitled to similar protection for the reasonable life of a purchase.

    Well informed consumers have used this to get things like laptops fixed out of warranty, as it was not hard to argue that a laptop should last at least 3 years.

    What changes is the uniformity of application with a single federally administered legislation and better guidelines for business and consumers about what can be said and done regarding a consumer guarantee.

    It also provides for suppliers to be able to recover costs of warranty repairs and related costs from the importer/manufacturer/supplier which should help protect small business.

    I also think it will actually make many people think twice about purchasing offshore, the fact that more people will become aware of their consumer rights to protection against defects and shoddy manufacturing well beyond 12 months may be a persuasive argument to purchase locally.

    I am sure there will be some teething issues, but as a business owner and a consumer I see it as a very positive move, the move to national, uniform consumer protection laws was long overdue and better communication and application of consumer guarantees will be good for consumers. As a business I have a clearer responsibility to my customers and a direct recourse to recover costs incurred in fulfilling my obligations.


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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 27060D0D0A10630 link=1296845379/14#14 date=1296861409
    Im off to buy a $100 TV from an appliance store and am going to keep my docket - for 10 years! *
    I havent had a TV die in under 10 years.
    In fact Ive never thrown one out.
    Currently we have 1 in the garage, 1 on the back verandah, 1 in the spare bedroom, one in the main bedroom and they are all many years old.

    The newest one (in the lounge room) is almost 1 year old now and its the one Id worry will not last as long as the others.
    In fact the one on the verandah was dropped and despite the tube not sitting square now, it still works.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    I recently retired a German Loewe Cantus which I bought in 1990. *I mentioned this to the salesman in the local Hardly Normal store where I was purchasing my new Chinese whiz bang LED thingy & he offered that I should not expect such longevity from current purchase (while trying to sell me an extended warranty - from the manufacturers twelve months to two years). *Two grand doesnt buy much these day, apparently.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    100% agree with galumay. As a non-aussie, I have always found it hard to understand how such a small country (by population) has so many layers of government and bureaucracy. This legislation seems to be a step in the right direction.

    Some businesses have in the past (and this will no doubt continue) offered a black and white warranty that is less than consumers are entitled to. It takes a well informed and persistent consumer to stand up to such dodgy practices. Usually the business IS aware of their responsibilities, but is using this as a deliberate ploy.

    As for offshore purchasing, I noticed a reference in the memorandum to the Vienna Sales Convention which seems to cover these transactions, must find out more about that as I do buy a few things internationally and may also sell that way in the future.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    I understand that it is good for consumers and in an ideal world good for a supplier, but I know that I dont have that kind of pull with the importer of the products I sell to be able to tell them that they will now have to pay for my time on warranty repair jobs and freight.

    They will tell me to go jump!

    Sure I can then let the ACCC loose on them but that is not the basis of an ongoing working relationship with the importer.

    One of 3 things will then happen.

    1. The importer will drop me as a supplier

    2. The next shipment I order will cost $$$ because the importer will factor in my repair costs and longer warranty on the initial purchase price.

    3. Australia is such a small fish that the importer will stop sending their products here.

    And the next time there is a how come I can buy x from overseas cheaper than I can buy it here and all suppliers are rip offs, I can now point them to this thread.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A2C2138202C344D0 link=1296845379/17#17 date=1296879836
    Some of the replies demonstrate the lack of understanding by business of the old laws
    I understood them.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A2C2138202C344D0 link=1296845379/17#17 date=1296879836
    It has always been a grey area beyond the general 12 month warranty that most suppliers provided.
    And you would do well to understand that now, there is plenty of grey area within a 12 month warranty.


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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 15343F3F3822510 link=1296845379/7#7 date=1296853155
    Persinally, Id rather have a guarantee that is in black and white.
    Quote Originally Posted by 15343F3F3822510 link=1296845379/14#14 date=1296861409
    Who me? wrote on Today at 9:34am:
    reasonable expectations play a huge role.
    No matter how much either party tries to put everything in black and white terms, there will always be room for argument


    "Reasonable expectations" and the lack of black and white terms are what will cause the arguments!
    Quote Originally Posted by 15343F3F3822510 link=1296845379/22#22 date=1296893495
    And you would do well to understand that now, there is plenty of grey area within a 12 month warranty.
    To restate and possibly (hopefully) clarify somewhat. Any time someone tries to make things black and white, shades of grey inevitably emerge.
    I use argument in the sense of arguing ones case or debating, not in the sense of shouting matches - just in case anyone misunderstood. This is a good thing as reasoned argument helps progress towards mutually acceptable outcomes.

    There may be plenty of grey areas in the new legislation but:
    There were before.
    It is nationally applicable.
    Previously identified grey areas have been clarified.
    Responsibilities of suppliers and manufacturers are better defined than before.

    The notion of reasonableness is actually quite well defined legally (e.g. have a quick search for reasonable man doctrine).

    Itll take some time and some test cases, but this should be a benefit for consumers and businesses and, as always, new opportunities will emerge for creative business people.

    If anyone thinks they can write a black and white warranty document, I suggest you give it a try - it is not easy to even get close.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 777F71797B61617D7179120 link=1296845379/23#23 date=1296895852
    If anyone thinks they can write a black and white warranty document, I suggest you give it a try - it is not easy to even get close.
    If "x" becomes faulty within 12 months of purchase, it will be repaired at no cost to the purchaser. If "x" cannot be repaired, it will be replaced.

    Please tell me how thats not a properly written warranty. It took me two minutes to write. It is of course a very simple warranty though I suggest the new laws create many grey areas as they fail to be clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by 777F71797B61617D7179120 link=1296845379/23#23 date=1296895852
    The notion of reasonableness is actually quite well defined legally (e.g. have a quick search for reasonable man doctrine).
    Ah yes. And I would argue that in our society the only example by definition is a Judge. ::)


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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 70515A5A5D47340 link=1296845379/24#24 date=1296898154
    If "x" becomes faulty within 12 months of purchase, it will be repaired at no cost to the purchaser. *If "x" cannot be repaired, it will be replaced.

    Please tell me how thats not a properly written warranty. *It took me two minutes to write. *It is of course a very simple warranty though I suggest the new laws create many grey areas as they fail to be clear.
    You run the boiler dry on a coffee machine and burn the element. Under your warranty, this would be covered....

    There MUST be exclusions, as stupidity cant be warranted against. It has to factor in the the product was used as intended/designed.

    That said, I fully agree with your original post in this thread.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 565E50585A40405C5058330 link=1296845379/23#23 date=1296895852
    The notion of *reasonableness is actually quite well defined legally (e.g. have a quick search for reasonable man doctrine).
    At the risk of incurring wrath due to me being totally out of both my legal and contractual depth here I can see why this would be a big debate when it comes to having to deal with customers and suppliers on a day to day basis.

    While I imagine there is a legal definition for reasonableness, and I understand there is a probably a huge gulf between legal contracts and what I would term a Service level Agreement. I would suggest that using the term reasonable to manage a customers expectations would be fraught with problems, due to everyones perceptions of what is reasonable varying a great deal. When defining an SLA, its generally recommended that if you cant measure it, then its best to exclude it, unless the term is absolutely clarified in some way and there is agreement to exactly what it means. Not sure how you would measure "reasonable", and I imagine once you get into a dispute over that, you have possibly already lost the customers loyalty, and even if you are right from a contractual/law perspective, you have not been able to manage expectations and lost their custom. (Mind you in some cases that might have been a good thing) :)

    This is probably also related to the Customer Satisfaction being = Perceived Quality / Expected Quality, of which communication plays *a part.

    Grahamk

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Requirements need to be measurable to avoid argument.
    "Reasonable" appears to be a requirement of this legislation therefore it should be defined or else there will be trouble.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    The legal system thrives on argument. Its big dollars.
    Also, societal and legal expectations/definitions of what is reasonable change - you should see some of the original uses!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_man_on_the_Clapham_omnibus

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    A reasonable man [person] is: "informed, capable, aware of the law, and fair-minded, has some foresight, plans his or her acts, and is able to get along with others."

    Hence my reference to the Judge.



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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 17363D3D3A20530 link=1296845379/29#29 date=1296904973
    "informed, capable, aware of the law, and fair-minded, has some foresight, plans his or her acts, and is able to get along with others."
    That could describe me but not everyone that knows me would consider me reasonable (at all times).
    ;)

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Some Random thoughts:

    Storm in a Tea Cup.

    There is no doubt that Black and White Warranty is best.

    My solicitor (commercial law) once told me words to the effect that the more you try and make a statement of guarantee watertight" by adding specifics, exclusions etc etc etc, the harder you make it because you then have to keep adding specifics to cover each of the specifics you already added in. KISS therefore applies, or matters become more and more complicated.

    In any case in my experience when there is a problem, it never ever gets to that Statement (or for that matter any further) because as a professional, reasonable, honest trader, you make decisions based on much much more than what you might be able get away with by sticking to the letter of the guarantee.....and you sort it out applying your own in house policies & personal judgment. By sort out, I mean a situation where the client is satisfied.

    From a traders point of view in this industry, the idea of clients coming up with their own idea of whether something is "reasonable" is interesting.

    The idea of traders being able to claim back from a manufacturer is also interesting.

    Nothing gets an honest traders heckles up quicker than someone having a lend.....and if someones having a lend I doubt such a thing as a statutory warranty is going to help much.

    It would appear honest traders selling quality goods dont have much to fear.

    Storm in a tea cup and life will as usual, go on.

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B4A4141465C2F0 link=1296845379/24#24 date=1296898154
    If "x" becomes faulty within 12 months of purchase, it will be repaired at no cost to the purchaser. *If "x" cannot be repaired, it will be replaced.

    Please tell me how thats not a properly written warranty. *It took me two minutes to write. *It is of course a very simple warranty though I suggest the new laws create many grey areas as they fail to be clear.
    Scenario:
    You buy X from me. I ship X and when you receive it, it doesnt work. As it never became faulty, you have no recourse.

    You buy X from me, it arrives at your door 3 weeks later. a further 48 weeks after that a fault develops. This is outside the warranty period as the clock started when it left the factory, or my place, or...

    You buy X from me, it develops a fault during warranty period and you return it to me (at whose cost?), 12 weeks later it is still not fixed and you are getting impatient...

    You buy X from me (being an espresso machine), I ship you a house brick with espresso machine stamped on the side....

    Lots of examples why your waranty would not work.

    Quote Originally Posted by 685D4E474E42642F0 link=1296845379/26#26 date=1296898853
    While I imagine there is a legal definition for reasonableness, and I understand there is a probably a huge gulf between legal contracts and what I would term a Service level Agreement.
    I used to write, or assist in writing, SLAs which are legal contracts, but with a markedly different purpose. You do, however, get a good appreciation for how difficult it is to define exactly what you want to achieve.

    Quote Originally Posted by 695D4A5C47706C4049494A4A2F0 link=1296845379/31#31 date=1296946792
    My solicitor (commercial law) once told me words to the effect that the more you try and make a statement of guarantee watertight" by adding specifics, exclusions etc etc etc, the harder you make it because you then have to keep adding specifics to cover each of the specifics you write in. KISS therefore applies.
    Quote Originally Posted by 695D4A5C47706C4049494A4A2F0 link=1296845379/31#31 date=1296946792
    Storm in a tea cup and life will as usual, go on.
    Stop being so reasonable Attilio :D




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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 76425543586F735F56565555300 link=1296845379/31#31 date=1296946792
    So repeating.
    traders faced with clients trying it on (whether having a legitimate claim under guarantee or not), will in most cases sort it out satisfactorily for bth parties according to their own in house policies, personal judgment and fair play.
    Storm in a tea cup and life will as usual, go on.
    Almost never the case in my experience, businesses usually try very hard to restrict consumers to the basic 12 month warranty they offer with goods, they almost always refused to honor their legal obligations to a statutory warranty under the various Trade Practices Acts until and unless the consumer pursued the case thru the small claims tribunal.

    Conversely frivolous or fraudulent claims were usually unsuccessful as you point out and I am sure the ACCC officers will make sure that is the case with the new unified legislation.

    I would also make the point that people expecting the law to provide black and white direction are seriously lacking an understanding of how Western Law works within our society. The "reasonable man" test is a common test in our legal system and is a clearly understood legal term - although it may cause some confusion amongst lay people.

    Quote Originally Posted by 52514242555C300 link=1296845379/21#21 date=1296893456
    I understand that it is good for consumers and in an ideal world good for a supplier, but I know that I dont have that kind of pull with the importer of the products I sell to be able to tell them that they will now have to pay for my time on warranty repair jobs and freight.
    I guess this largely has nothing to do with the consumer protection laws - new or old. It is more a problem of importing goods from overseas and poor business practices by the offshore manufacturers in refusing to properly warranty their products to include labour costs.

    Take the example of an Australian based manufacturer, they would have had to cover the cost of parts and labour for any warranty repair by the retailer under the old law as well as the new.

    As an Apple Computer Reseller, I get paid by Apple for all parts and labour involved in a warranty repair, I wouldnt sell a product where the manufacturer expected me to cover the labour costs to repair a product of theirs that had a manufacturing defect or fault.

    Quote Originally Posted by 74555E5E5943300 link=1296845379/22#22 date=1296893495
    And you would do well to understand that now, there is plenty of grey area within a 12 month warranty.
    Perhaps you could help me understand what you think has changed to create grey area within a 12 month warranty? Its pretty clearcut to me that as always consumers are covered for defects or faults and failure to perform as described etc. - the only significant difference I can see is that business must make consumers aware that this is not the limit of their coverage under the law.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    More random thoughts.


    Galumay wrote:
    ".............businesses usually try very hard to restrict consumers to the basic 12 month warranty they offer with goods, they almost always refused to honor their legal obligations to a statutory warranty under the various Trade Practices Acts until and unless the consumer pursued the case thru the small claims tribunal....."


    Simple Common Sense: There has to be some kind of defined cut off point where something lapses, whether it be a period of guarantee or anything else in life.

    Nevertheless...I am glad this doesnt much trouble honest traders such as CosmoreX Coffee where if a client has a concern, we look at it on individual basis and as already stated...sort it to out to the satisfaction of both parties.

    Readers should note however....If a manufacturer guarantees their equipment to be free of defective manufacture and assembly for a period of say X, and they manufacture their equipment using components sourced from another manufacturer, and they are all overseas anyway, does anyone seriously think that our small businesses can make claims against the manufacturer after their stated period of guarantee has lapsed, or that they will be able (or bother) to claim in turn from their supplier of components???????????

    All a retail trader can do is pass something back the line as far as it can which usually means the importer. Importers are not at the retail coal face and not "emotionally involved" with the retail client. If they decide something is not warrantable or is outside the designated period, this leaves the retailer to be the meat in the sandwich.

    And of course, the importer in this country is deemed to carry the responsibility of the manufacturer and that is effectively where the buck stops here.

    You can have a situation where the manufacturer supports his retailer to support the client OR, where the retailer goes it alone without support from the importer. *Neither will get much help from O/S.

    It is interesting, that sometimes it is the most unbelievably aggressive & difficult purchasers who have wrestled the very lowest price possible for themsleves, who are also be the most likely to hotly pursue a future service difficulty as being "warrantable", some time after the designated period of guarantee lapsed. *

    Clients cant have it both ways, and wholesale and retail prices must be at a level high enough to accommodate all of this stuff both from an importer point of view, and also from the retailer point of view.

    And of course from a service industry point of view, it doesnt matter what the cause of a problem actually is (or that it hasnt even been diagnosed yet), but the clients always seem to preface the discusssion of why they are bringing their coffee machine in, with the announcement there is a problem that should be sorted for them "under guarantee".


    Somewhere in all of that, there lies a happy medium.


    Regardz,
    A. *

  36. #36
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 27212C352D2139400 link=1296845379/33#33 date=1296948771
    The "reasonable man" test is a common test in our legal system and is a clearly understood legal term - although it may cause some confusion amongst lay people.
    This is the problem with most laws and an opportunity to get it right with this one has been lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by 27212C352D2139400 link=1296845379/33#33 date=1296948771
    Perhaps you could help me understand what you think has changed to create grey area within a 12 month warranty?
    Simply that every part of the interaction between consumer and trader during the sale is part and parcel of the warranty. Memories of what occured and may have been stated are likely to differ in the event of a dispute.

    Anyway, the reality is that nothing at all is going to change in my neck of the woods.


  37. #37
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 033720362D1A062A23232020450 link=1296845379/34#34 date=1296950231
    All a retail trader can do is pass something back the line as far as it can which usually means the importer. Importers are not at the retail coal face and not "emotionally involved" with the retail client. If they decide something is not warrantable or is outside the designated period, this leaves the retailer to be the meat in the sandwich.
    This situation is where the old Statutory Warranty also protected the retailer.
    In this situation the Importer is the "Seller" and the Retailer is the "Buyer" and the same law applies as does in the Retailer/Consumer transaction.

    If the new law is standardising all the state laws into one then should it not still apply?

    In other words, each buyer and seller are treated respectively as such no matter where they are in the chain.


    P.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by 043027312A1D012D24242727420 link=1296845379/31#31 date=1296946792
    It would appear honest traders selling quality goods dont have much to fear.
    I dont think they ever did.

  38. #38
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C203D262C2D3A2F272C480 link=1296845379/36#36 date=1296998864
    This situation is where the old Statutory Warranty also protected the retailer....
    In this situation the Importer is the "Seller" and the Retailer is the "Buyer" and the same law applies as does in the Retailer/Consumer transaction............In other words, each buyer and seller are treated respectively as such no matter where they are in the chain..........
    Hello T. There is only one teensy problem with that bit of information.......no one give a rats about traders....its really only about protecting the end consumer.

    Never the less, as Dennis so eloquently put it, "...the reality is that nothing at all is going to change in my neck of the woods..."

    Regardz,
    A.

  39. #39
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B4F584E55627E525B5B58583D0 link=1296845379/37#37 date=1297058183
    Hello T. There is only one teensy problem with that bit of information.......no one give a rats about traders....its really only about protecting the end consumer.

    I dont see anything in the legislation aimed at protecting the END consumer. Every transaction is between a supplier and a consumer.
    Most of the traders on this forum are intermediaries. In all transactions they are either consumer or supplier and the law gives them the same protections and obligations as anybody else.

    One reason protections are stronger for consumers is they are usually in the weaker position.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B4F584E55627E525B5B58583D0 link=1296845379/34#34 date=1296950231
    All a retail trader can do is pass something back the line as far as it can which usually means the importer. Importers are not at the retail coal face and not "emotionally involved" with the retail client. If they decide something is not warrantable or is outside the designated period, this leaves the retailer to be the meat in the sandwich.
    Here you seem to be suggesting that the retail trader (consumer) is in a weaker position than the importer (supplier). Perhaps the new consumer law will be a help to you here and prevent you becoming the meat in the sandwich?

    Also, noted before:
    Quote Originally Posted by 79585353544E3D0 link=1296845379/35#35 date=1296960981
    Simply that every part of the interaction between consumer and trader during the sale is part and parcel of the warranty. *Memories of what occured and may have been stated are likely to differ in the event of a dispute.
    The terms of trade and details of transactions between retail traders and their suppliers tend to be better standardised and documented than those between end customers and their suppliers. This means it will be easier to resolve disputes further back in the chain.

    I have very limited sympathy for traders that complain about how hard it is to do business if they dont take the time to understand their rights and responsibilities. It is part and parcel of running a business and none of us are forced to do it. In Australia at least, there are plenty of opportunities to work for someone else and leave these headaches behind.

  40. #40
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 26120513083F230F06060505600 link=1296845379/37#37 date=1297058183
    Hello T. There is only one teensy problem with that bit of information.......no one give a rats about traders....its really only about protecting the end consumer.
    A. I care!

    I used that bit of information previously when traders tried it on and told me I had to deal direct with the manufacturer.
    I pointed out that legally I had to deal with them and that they had their own purchase transaction to deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by 050D030B0913130F030B600 link=1296845379/38#38 date=1297112261
    I dont see anything in the legislation aimed at protecting the END consumer. Every transaction is between a supplier and a consumer.
    Most of the traders on this forum are intermediaries. In all transactions they are either consumer or supplier and the law gives them the same protections and obligations as anybody else.
    I think this says it quite well.

    And remember, Ive never had a problem with a site sponsor, its bad traders I gun for.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 39313F37352F2F333F375C0 link=1296845379/38#38 date=1297112261
    The terms of trade and details of transactions between retail traders and their suppliers tend to be better standardised and documented than those between end customers and their suppliers. This means it willbe easier to resolve disputes further back in the chain.
    Yes, and Im taking a guess here that you are not employed in any part of this chain, otherwise you would know that real life generally does not reflect or rely on a standardised document.

    Quote Originally Posted by 39313F37352F2F333F375C0 link=1296845379/38#38 date=1297112261
    I have very limited sympathy for traders that complain about how hard it is to do business if they dont take the time to understand their rights and responsibilities.
    Where did I do that? I have very limited patience with people who distort my position.

    Am off now to make my next million.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Re:

    "...real life generally does not reflect or rely on a standardised document..."

    And once again Dennis, well put.

    "...off to make my next million..." Geeze mate you will be able to afford to buy a car shortly!


    And thank you TG for this "...Ive never had a problem with a site sponsor, its bad traders I gun for..."
    *

    Regardz,
    Attilio


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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F7E757572681B0 link=1296845379/40#40 date=1297121850
    Yes, and Im taking a guess here that you are not employed in any part of this chain, otherwise you would know that real life generally does not reflect or rely on a standardised document.

    Quote Originally Posted by 39313F37352F2F333F375C0 link=1296845379/38#38 date=1297112261
    I have very limited sympathy for traders that complain about how hard it is to do business if they dont take the time to understand their rights and responsibilities.
    Where did I do that? *I have very limited patience with people who distort my position.
    That paragraph was not intended to refer to the quote from you, I should have spaced it further apart as I can see now that it does read like that, apologies for the misunderstanding.
    I intended it in general terms relating to the thread as a whole - *there does seem to be a tendency for some contributors to paint traders as victims rather than see opportunities.

    FYI, my business is not in the coffee industry, but I do run my own company. Primarily services, but with some retail on the side. All my current suppliers and customers are Australian, but that may change - hence my interest in the Vienna Sales Convention earlier.

  44. #44
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    One thing Im curious about and havent been able to spot on my scanning of the new laws. Online auction transactions are now included, but international transactions arent. If I buy a product from an Australian fleabay user, but it ships ffrom outside australia, am I covered by the new law?
    Im guessing that it will depend on whether I get an Australian tax invoice or not, but does anyone know?

  45. #45
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Quote Originally Posted by 59515F57554F4F535F573C0 link=1296845379/42#42 date=1297139468
    apologies for the misunderstanding.
    Thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by 59515F57554F4F535F573C0 link=1296845379/43#43 date=1297141041
    One thing Im curious about and havent ben able to spot on my scanning of the new laws. Online auction transactions are now included, but international transactions arent. If I buy a product from an Australian fleabay user, but it ships ffrom outside australia, am I covered by the new law?
    Im guessing that it will depend on whether I get an Australian tax invoice or not, but does anyone know?
    I have no idea, but would apply the same philosophy Ive always had in regard to purchases on fleabay.

    1) If the goods arrive, I am relieved
    2) If they are as described, I am delighted
    3) If I have any expectation at all that I have any practical recourse in the event of a warranty claim, I know I am dreaming


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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Anyone who thinks any bureaucrat and/or politician could possibly produce a document which offers protection against either a consumer or supplier whose intentions are less than honourable, is dreaming.

    Unless there is a clause within the legislation which allows action against either consumer, retailer or supplier based on them not remaining within the "spirit" of a law then such regulations are like photographs of nude models.

    No matter how good they look, when push comes to shove, theyre STILL only pieces of paper.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    If you buy a commercial grade machine and use it domestically it would be reasonable to expect long life from the machine.

    If you prices 5 Kg or more through the machine most days it would be reasonable to expect the machine to last a nothing like as long.

    What stops importers from operating a few years and then closing down or (selling the business along with all the liabilities to someone for very little)?

    After all you cant get blood from a stone.

    However user abuse has never been covered by warrantee.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Ive been waiting to see if someone in CS would come up with that one!

    ie, "I bought a semi commercial or commercial machine and therefore expect it should last a lot longer than a domestic machine". Domestic machine is guaranteed to be free of defective manufacture and assembly for 1 year, therefore the semi commercial / commercial *(insert your favourite brand / model here) should be good for ............ years ???????????????

    I expect then, that while some passenger vehicles have a 3 year warranty, that if I buy a work utility instead for the wife to take the kids to school and do the shopping, it should be guaranteed for say 9 years because it should be able to handle the pace for longer than a passenger vehicle?????

    You may be interested to know that in the service trade we often enough see the effects on equipment of it not being used enough (ie used a lot less than intended for the type of equipment it is).

    This is the problem with someones (anyones) expectation of what is...."reasonable"......and who is the arbitrator that makes that decision in an informed way, for countless different goods of different qualities sold new and having a "warranty"?

    As with all things in life, you have to have a cut off point that everyone is aware of, and there will always be clients pushing to get things done after the cut off point, as there will always be traders that will "fight" that, whether anyone thinks it is fair or not. Depends on the individual situation, only the two parties concerned can actually know what is actually going on, and the rest is as usual, academic.

    For the rest of it, (reference to importers operating then closing down etc), this could be a tad cynical in that, I am sure very few businesses operate just to try and deliberately catch people out, then close down because they are trying to get out of their responsibilities (whatever they may be sometime in the future). Perhaps I misunderstood.

    Regardz,
    A

  49. #49
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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    Despite the best intentions of the shiny culo biro pushers, most of whom have no idea, yet are charged with the responsibility to legislate this rubbish, I am with Attilio- I dont see that much will change. Ethical businesses will continue to operate ethically and dodgy ones will continue to be dodgy. I wish it would protect me from crappy builders, shonly solicitors and dodgy financial planners, but it wont.

    If we here expect the ACCC to achieve anything, were all mistaken. They have been proven to be toothless over and over again. Its not going to change.

    As for coffee machinery, the majority of stuff I see arriving for service and/or repair from Joe Average and CSers too has been abused. I have a 1 year old DS on the bench today which has been left on 24/7, was filthy and is laden with scale from the "special filtered water" its been run on. It looks 10 years old. Warranty? No way. Jose. ::)

    Its great for people to sit on the outer and have opinions, however the reality at the coalface differs substantially from what might happen in your home.

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    Re: Australian Consumer Law - NEW!

    This topic is a bit old, but I had a major win today and though Id share it. I got an iPhone on 24 month contract through a major Australian telecommunications company, treated it like it was made of glass (because it was) and it broke down completely after about 14 months. It took 6 months for me to get it replaced AFTER suing them. They paid my considerable costs, compensation, fines to the state and ACCC and replaced the phone. The legislation is there to protect you if you know it is there, but the retailers pretend that it isnt by providing illegal limited warranties. You are entitiled to get what you paid for, whatever that is, not for 12 months of service.

    They pretended to be under the impression that they never implied that my phone on 24 month contract would last for 24 months. Un-effing believable considering the Trade Practices Acts in this country. This is a tight community of like minded people, and Im not saying that any retailers here are rip off merchants, but most businesses are. You dont make money by giving it away before you absolutely have to...
    Would I go through it again? Abso-effing-lutely, people need to know what they are and arent entitled to. I really dont understand why the existing legislation isnt enforced to prevent retailers denying statutory rights and conditions of sale.



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