Faulty Electrical Appliances: A Quickfire Guide to Your Rights & Options

As society continues to become more and more specialised, it is now impossible to become an expert on everything; however, it is important to make the best use of the information available to you to make informed decisions. For the uninitiated, a television that suddenly ceases to switch on may hastily be thrust into the category of 'broken' or 'irreparable', initiate the search for a new TV, and a potentially unnecessary expense of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Before you give up on your newly struggling electrical appliances, take a few moments to consider the following information about your rights and options as a consumer.

1. Warranties are not set in stone.

The Australian Consumer Law came into effect on January 1st, 2011, guaranteeing certain rights for consumers purchasing goods or services from providers and businesses. For items such as televisions or refrigerators, where a lifespan of 5 years would not be considered an unreasonable expectation, warranties for one year or 18 months may not represent a fair end point for the provision of free repairs or replacements. If you can reasonably demonstrate that your appliance has not been subject to misuse, contact the seller or business and report the fault to them directly. In this instance, you will be entitled to a repair, replacement, refund or monetary compensation for the loss in value of your appliance. It really does pay to know your rights!

2. There is usually a fix, and it is often cheaper than buying again.

If your faulty appliance is deemed to be the product of mistreatment or if you made your purchase before 2011, you may not qualify for a free repair; however, this does not mean that you should resign yourself to spending a fortune on a new product. For smaller appliances such as televisions or sound systems, simply taking them to a repair shop can save a substantial sum of money compared to buying again from new. For larger appliances such as refrigerators, a repair might be more costly as you will generally be required to pay a call-out charge before the product is even looked at; however, if money is tight, this may still be the lesser of two evils. Shop around for the most reasonable hourly rate, and look for reviews of electrical repair businesses online. Womo.com.au has over half a million customer reviews for Australian businesses, which should help you in finding a reputable service. Good luck!