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VIC Australian Consumer Law - Purchased Baseball Bat before It was Banned?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by LG2015, 29 June 2015.

  1. LG2015

    LG2015 Member

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    I purchased a new baseball bat at the end of December 2014 (it was an expensive junior alloy). Baseball Australia following US Guidelines has banned the use of this bat beginning September 1st 2015 but the new regulations came out about 2 months after my purchase $389.00.

    Are there any legal under avenues Australian Consumer Law I can explore?

    The bat was deemed dangerous to use, so I am wondering who I should tackle to get my money back?
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    I found this document from Baseball Australia, are these the regulations you are referring to?
    http://www.baseball.com.au/Portals/27/Policies/Baseball Australia Bat Regulations 2015.pdf

    It appears that your baseball bat has simply been banned for the use in competition/ games. This isn't a law, so as far as I can see there is nothing stopping you from using the bat on your own time.

    You won't be able to demand a refund for your bat as the business that sold you the good hasn't misled you or otherwise breached the consumer guarantees such as if the bat was faulty.
     
  3. LG2015

    LG2015 Member

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    Thanks Ivy

    The bat has been deemed unfit or dangerous by Baseball Australia. It is still under warranty and I purchased it for the specific purpose of using it for competition/games. The bat cannot be used by seniors as they must use wood and basically no one can use it in Australia or US for competition anymore because it doesn't meet new safety standards. I have contacted Easton (manufacturer) and they have told me to contact place of purchase regarding refund or rebate for the bat. I believe that they have been offering rebates in the US for these bats due to the change in regulation. He has had 6 months use out of the bat which was intended to last 2 more years otherwise I would not have spent that much money on the bat.

    Are there any legal avenues under consumer law in relation to safety or intended use?
     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    There is a consumer guarantee that goods are fit for the use that they are advertised for. That includes a salesperson telling you that something will be good for a purpose as well as traditional advertising and labelling. So at a stretch you could argue with the shop that the baseball bat has been deemed dangerous and is therefore unfit for the intended use in competitions.

    Personally I would approach the shop first and see what they will do for you out of goodwill/ warranty. From there if they aren't being helpful then you could try to run the consumer guarantee argument above.

    The reason I am not 100% confident about the consumer guarantee argument is that although the bat was deemed unfit for competition by the US baseball association when you purchased it* (an argument in your favour), the bat was still allowed in Australian competitions at the time. So if a shop is selling something as being fit for competition in Australia, I'm not sure that you can utilise the consumer guarantee to get a refund when the association changed its mind after the purchase.

    However you could run the argument that the bat wasn't only advertised as being suitable for competition, but that there was an implied assumption that the bat would be safe for use (it's pretty reasonable to assume that a shop doesn't intend to sell you something that is unsafe without fair warning). The US baseball association had recognised that the bat was dangerous and refunds were being issued on the bats before you bought yours in Australia. Given the US precedent, the shop should have been alerted to the fact that the bat may not be safe. And because it's not safe, and they sold it to you anyway, the consumer guarantee may protect you.

    Does this make sense?

    *I have made an assumption that the US baseball association had deemed the bat unsafe before you purchased the one in Australia. I have just realised that you didn't actually tell me whether this is the case. Do you know when the US baseball association banned this bat for use in competition?
     
  5. LG2015

    LG2015 Member

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    Thanks for the further information Ivy,

    I found the following on the Little League Site : (my son is considered a junior/intermediate)

    Bat Frequently Asked Questions

    Q-7: Are the bat manufacturers going to offer a rebate on the bats that are deemed unusable in Little League?
    A: Each bat manufacturer will decide on its return/exchange policy and possible rebates toward the purchase of Little League compliant bats. Check with your local equipment retailer for guidance on possible rebates or returns.

    Q-10: What is the standard for composite-barreled 2 5/8 inch bats in the Junior League and Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Divisions?
    A: All composite-barreled bats for use in the Junior League and Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Divisions must meet the BBCOR standard. This is the implementation of the rule Little League provided in the rule books starting in 2010.


    It appears these regulations were made some time ago in the USA. In the meantime my son is playing in a State Championship this weekend in Mildura in which it is still legal to use these bats that don't meet regulation.

    It is a very tricky one, I know the retailer I bought the bat from are stuck with quite a few of these bats and they disclosed all relevant information at the time of lay-by and purchase by Baseball Australia. I will ask them for assistance regarding rebate but I feel a little bad because they are just a small business who were confused about the changes too.
     
  6. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Okay- well if the US implemented the changes a while ago then everything I said above still stands. All I can say is, use your personal judgment and let me know if you have any further questions.
     

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