The way we shop, consume and find new products has been drastically re-invented by the internet. E-Commerce has increasingly become a powerful tool for Australians to shop from the comfort of their own homes, but also has provided opportunities for entrepreneurs to conduct their business online. Conducting business online comes with many obligations that are crucial to be aware of in order to prevent deviations from the Australian Consumer Law.
Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
The ACL applies to both brick and mortar stores and online businesses equally and applies to any Australian business that sells goods and services. One of the ACL’s main purposes is to ensure that when you buy a product or service, it will work.
The guarantees for Australian consumers apply to:
- Goods or services up to $40,000;
- Goods or services over $40,000 typically purchased for domestic, household or personal purposes; and
- Business vehicles and trailers used to transport goods.
The guarantees are legally enforceable, which means that consumers can take sellers to court to seek remedies. The specific remedies that the ACL may enforce include:
- Repair or replacement;
- Refund; or
When a product is purchased on your online store:
You must guarantee that is:
- Is of acceptable quality, safe and without fault;
- Matches the description you make (can be on labels, packaging or advertising);
- Is fit for purpose;
- Carries no hidden securities or charges;
- Meets promises made on performance, quality or condition.
When a service is purchased on your online store:
You must guarantee that:
- You will provide the service with acceptable care and skill;
- The service is fit for purpose; and
- It will be supplies in a reasonable time.
Buying and selling online can be a fantastic way to find products and services that add value to your life. If you receive a product or service that does not comply with the ACL guarantees or are the business owner of an online store and are unsure about your obligations, please contact Kent Law Group on 4323 1900 for advice on how to navigate your matter.