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QLD Australian Consumer Law on Spare Parts for New Plastic Shutters?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by GrahamH, 5 June 2015.

  1. GrahamH

    GrahamH Member

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    Hi - thanks for any advice on the next steps.

    In 2012, we purchased timber shutters from a well known upmarket shutter manufacturer. We paid around $10,000 for some doors and windows in a single room.

    Over time we've had a couple of breakages in the shutter blades. One on a door broke when opening the shutters - just appears to have been stuck. Two others on a window were broken by kids passing a ball.

    In November 2014, my wife went to the interior decorator who sold us the shutters (not the manufacturer) to purchase replacements, and he informed us the manufacturer no longer made those shutters but he would contact them for a solution to the problem. After not getting a response back from the decorator for 7 months, I spoke to him today, and he said they couldn't supply replacements, but the manufacturer could supply another blade that was plastic (not timber like the original) and not interlocking - and agreed the new blades would look completely different to the original.

    Can anyone advise whether the manufacturer would be expected under Australian Consumer Law to maintain spare parts for these shutters for a period of time - and is it reasonable to expect that time to be greater than, say, 3 or 5 years? Also who would I pursue - the manufacturer who stopped making the shutters and hasn't got any spares, but is still in business, or the reseller? Other than this, our only alternative is to reshutter the room again - at a cost of another $10,000.

    Thanks for any advice
     
  2. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Hi there GrahamH

    There's an obligation on manufacturers (but not suppliers) to make sure spare parts will be reasonably available, see here section 58 of the Australian Consumer Law. You can then cast your eyes over section 271(5) which you can see interlinks with section 58.

    You mention that you purchased the shutters sometime in 2012 then made contact in November 2014 and then again recently. That delay might not count in your favour, but then again one never knows.

    Let's see what other contributors say and let us know how it goes.
     
  3. GrahamH

    GrahamH Member

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    Thanks - how is the "reasonable amount of time" quoted in section 58 for spare parts to be available calculated? Is it reasonable to expect spares would be available for a number of years?
     
  4. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately terms like reasonable are vague but obviously the only other option is to list every product and a time.
    I would suggest gathering as much literature as possible from the supplier. ie web paged saying "you will enjoy many years with our fine product" and such claims.
    A reasonable time is also influenced but the cost of a product. ie a $50 set of blinds may last you a couple of years but a $10K set of shutters would last many years and be serviceable during that time.
    Have a looks at https://www.youtube.com/user/checkoutabctv
    It's a great source of edification on you rights.
     

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