Australian Consumer Law - Refund on Faulty Blender from Big W

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Warren G

9 April 2014
I bought a $150 Breville blender 11 months ago from Big W. The blender has started to leak water when used. This makes it unusable. I took the blender back to Big W and they are refusing to refund or replace the blender. They are saying that I'm only entitled to have the blender repaired under Australian Consumer Law. They have new stock of the same model in store. Am I entitled to stand my ground and request a replacement?

Sandra R

9 April 2014
Hi Warren,

The Australian Consumer Law gives consumers (that is, you and me) the right to ask for a repair, replacement or refund of a faulty product.

The first question is whether your blender's water leak is a major problem or a minor problem.

You can review the definition of a major problem on the ACCC's website.

A major problem includes:
a. it has a problem that would have stopped someone from buying it if they'd known about it; and
b. it is unsafe.

If the blender is only leaking a few drips of water during operation, it is arguably a minor problem. In contrast, if the blender is leaking most of its water/liquids at any time, it is arguably a major problem.

In my experience, it can be a battle to argue with a retailer about whether something is a major or minor problem. Consumer Affairs Victoria has a great MyShopRights App that you can use in store to support your argument.

If Big W insists that they can repair the blender in a short time, then it may be best to accept the repair and move on. Alternatively, if they do have replacement stock and it is clearly a major and unsafe water leak, then use your powers of persuasion for a refund. Good luck!
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Elle W

Active Member
17 April 2014
Hello there Warren!

Wow! I didn't expect Big W would refuse to replace a product that was bought in less than a year.
Anyway, is there a warranty when you bought the blender? and is it still under warranty?

The Australian Consumer Law at the shops states that "Businesses must honour all guarantees, including express and extended warranties."