The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

14 September 2010 - 5 March 2012

Media Release of 27/01/2011


Don't take 'no' for an answer on defective sale items

When it comes to getting a store to deal with a defective sale item, don't take 'no' for an answer, said Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury.

"Consumers should be aware that they can have defective sale items repaired, replaced or refunded under the new Australian Consumer Law (ACL)," said Mr Bradbury.

A new fact sheet,Your Shopping Rights, is available on the Australian Consumer Law website to help make consumers aware of their rights under the new law.

"Don't be fooled by signs in shops saying that refunds or exchanges won't be given for sale items. Under the new Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which came into effect on 1 January 2011, it is illegal for shops to display signs that refuse refunds on sale items.

"A consumer has rights under the new consumer guarantees, whether an item was full-price or on sale.

"When dealing with defective goods, a store must provide either a repair, replacement or a refund. If there is a major failure with an item, the consumer has the right to choose the remedy, including requesting a refund.

"These rights don't extend to consumers who simply change their minds, and stores will still be able to refuse refunds for customers in these situations.

"Consumers have a right to a statutory guarantee that the goods they purchase are of an acceptable quality and do what they are supposed to do.

"Under the ACL, suppliers of these goods have an obligation to meet these guarantees.

"Consumers shouldn't be caught in the middle of a tussle between suppliers and manufacturers over who is responsible for guaranteeing goods.

"By selling an item, a supplier is giving a guarantee that it is of acceptable quality and that it is fit for the purpose for which it was bought, whether that item is on sale or not.

"Consumers should make sure they keep their receipt as proof of purchase, and if there is a problem with an item they bought on sale, be aware that you have the right to request that the goods be repaired, replaced or a refund provided.

"If consumers encounter any problems when dealing with a business about defective sale items, they should contact their State or Territory's fair trading office, or the ACCC on 1300 302 502."

For more information, visit and download the Your Shopping Rights fact sheet.

27 January 2011